As Nigeria gears up for another round of elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has asked the Presidential Election Petition Court to vary its orders to allow them to reconfigure the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for the upcoming governorship and state houses of assembly elections on March 11.
The court had previously granted permission for the inspection of materials used for the last presidential election, which INEC said it needed to reconfigure the BVAS system for the upcoming elections.
However, the commission now needs to vary the order that restrained it from tampering with the election materials, so that it can reconfigure its 176,846 BVAS machines in time for the upcoming elections.
In a motion on notice filed on March 4, the commission is asking the court to vary the order to allow them to reconfigure the BVAS machines for the upcoming elections, so that they can be deployed to polling units.
If INEC doesn’t get permission to reconfigure the machines, there may be a delay in the upcoming governorship and state houses of assembly elections.
The court has not yet set a date for the hearing of the application.
The PDP has said that the ruling of the Court of Appeal, which granted permission to inspect election materials, has not yet been complied with by INEC. However, the party has welcomed INEC’s application to reconfigure the BVAS machines, calling it a second litmus test of INEC’s commitment to credible polls.
The APC has asked INEC to explain why it needs to reconfigure the BVAS machines ahead of the upcoming elections. While INEC has the statutory powers to hold elections in the country, it still owes Nigerians an explanation on why the technological device should be reconfigured, according to the Chief Spokesman for the APC presidential campaign council, Festus Keyamo.
Meanwhile, the Labour Party has lost faith in the activities of the electoral commission, calling INEC’s move on the BVAS reconfiguration medicine after death.