INEC: technical glitches can’t affect candidates’ results

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The 2023 presidential election substantially complied with the Electoral Act, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) insisted yesterday.

It told the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) that the February 25 poll was free, fair and credible.

INEC’s Assistant Director of Information Technology (IT) Department, Dr. Lawrence Bayode, said this at the hearing of the petition by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Bayode, who was testifying as INEC’s first defence witness, said whether or not images captured on the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) were transmitted manually or electronically cannot affect the integrity of the election.

While being cross-examined by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), counsel for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Bayode said in practical terms, an election is completed at the polling unit level when the Presiding Officer sorts ballot papers, collates results, records the scores in the results sheet (Form EC8A) and announces them.

Bayode added that the results recorded in Form EC8A by the Presiding Officer form the basis computation or collation of election results, either transmitted electronically or manually.

He said images captured using the BVAS machine can only be transmitted where there are data services or internet networks.

Under cross-examination by the lawyer to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), Bayode said the technical glitches experienced during the last presidential election did not affect the actual scores of candidates because they remained intact.

He said INEC did not engage in electronic collation of the results, stressing that collation was done manually.

The Nation

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