The victory of former Osun State governor, Gboyega Oyetola, at the Osun State Elections Petition Tribunal has raised concerns over the efficiency of the newly introduced Bimordial Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).
THE WHISTLER had reported how the election tribunal sacked Governor Ademola Adeleke after ruling that the Osun state gubernatorial election was characterised by over-voting despite the use of the BVAS system.
The BVAS system which was deployed for the Anambra, Osun and Ekiti states polls has been tipped to eliminate issues of over-voting, rigging and votes’ manipulation as Nigeria prepares for her 2023 general election.
To a large extent, the effectiveness of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) is what will determine the credibility of the 2023 election.
In an October 2022 report, a highly placed source at the ICT department of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had told THE WHISTLER that with some of the provisions of the new electoral act and the introduction of BVAS, it will be difficult to compromise the 2023 elections.
The source explained that before results are accepted for collation, the Registration Area Technical Support (RATECH) officer must verify that the total number of accredited voters recorded in the BVAS machine tallies with the total number of votes.
“During collation, the Ratech (Registration Area Technical Support) and the collation officer are supposed to work together and as you come in with the results, the RATECH will check the details of accreditation.
“There is a counter that captures the biometric information and it has to tally with ballot papers. If the counter records 500 voter information during accreditation, then there must be 500 ballots cast (both valid and rejected votes).
The source added that in the case that the total number of votes exceeds the total number of accredited voters recorded in the BVAS machine, the election from the affected polling units will be cancelled outrightly.
However, the Osun State Elections Petition Tribunal said excessive votes that do not correspond with BVAS records were accepted by INEC in the declaration of Adeleke as Osun governor.
Reacting, some Nigerians took to micro-blogging platform Twitter to air their displeasure over the conundrum.
@Kingcreatorr tweeted “What the effect of this so called Electoral Act we all celebrated.”
@firstladyship tweeted “BVAS is supposed to be foolproof like an ATM. ATM machines cannot dispense more cash to you, more than you want to withdraw. So how did INEC allow its BVAS record over-voting in whopping 749 polling units? @inecnigeria, how did this happen?
@Esteembehemoth tweeted, “We all need to be educated on the new electoral act & what BVAS captures. This Osun tribunal case is an eye opener for everybody. The fact that the result BVAS uploads is not recorded by the machine is a very big flaw. This is actually where 2023 elections will be won and lost.”