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INEC Asks Court To Allow It Reconfigure BVAS For March 11 Elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has requested that the presidential election petition tribunal adjusts the orders granted to the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP).

Peter Obi of the LP and Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, on Friday, secured leave of the court to have access to all the sensitive materials used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the conduct of the election held on February 25.

A panel of the appellate court led by Joseph Ikyegh made the orders on Friday after the court heard two separate ex parte applications filed by the two aggrieved candidates and their political parties.

INEC, in a motion on notice filed on March 4, asked the court to vary the order which restrained it from tampering with materials used for the election.

The commission said it needed to reconfigure the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System for the next round of elections.

In one of the reliefs, Obi and LP had sought an order of the court “restraining the 1st respondent (INEC) from tampering with the information embedded in the BVAS machines until due inspection is conducted and Certified True Copies of them issued”.

However, the relief was withdrawn and consequently struck out by the court.

In the  application filed by the commission and sighted by NAN, the commission is asking the court to vary the order to allow it to reconfigure its BVAS for the March 11 governorship and state houses of assembly elections.

NAN reports that it is the sole prayer in the application of the electoral umpire filed at the court.

No date has however been fixed for hearing of the application.

A credible source in the commission had told NAN that the application became necessary following an order restraining it from tampering with the information embedded in the BVAS machines until due inspection was conducted and Certified True Copies of them were issued.

Speaking off camera, the source said that the commission would require sufficient time to reconfigure the BVAS needed to conduct the election that would take place in the 36 states of the federation excluding the FCT.

According to the source, considering the number of BVAS required to conduct the election across the states, INEC needs to reconfigure the BVAS used for the February 25 elections and deploy them to polling units for the March 11  elections.

The source said that the  technical team of the commission had to be deployed on time to start the reconfiguration of the devices, which had to be done one by one.

The source said the order was pertinent as not getting it could result to a postponement of the Saturday governorship and state houses of assembly elections.

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