Tuesday 10 January 2023

Human beings have tendency to make BVAS work differently - Osun REC ...says number of accredited voters must tally with number of votes cast


The Resident Electoral Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Osun, Dr. Mutiu Agboke, has disclosed that for credible election results to occur, the number of accredited voters must tally with the number of votes cast.

He said since Bimodal Voter's Accreditation System (BVAS) remains the only constitutionally recognised electronic device for the conduct of voters' accreditation in any election, no contrary result must be declared apart from the figure therein. 

The Osun REC also noted that saboteurs have the tendency to compromise the usage of BVAS, insisting that they could make it to work contrary to the purpose for which the devices were deployed in the election.

Speaking on a popular Radio Show 'Frank Talk' on Rave FM on Tuesday, the INEC boss, however, stressed that there are regulations guiding the usage of the machine in any election which he said, must not be compromised for any reason.

Dr. Agboke revealed that Section (47), Sub-section (2) of the Electoral Act was clear enough as regards the deployment and usage of the BVAS machine to verify, accredit and authenticate voters and guarantee the sanctity of the election.

"Bimodal Voter's Accreditation System (BVAS) is to accredit you, to authenticate you and is to show that you are the owner of your card by person that wants to vote. That is the number one function 

"The second function is to take the image and the snapshot of the image on the report sheet. You don't input figure into the BVAS, it is the image that will be transmitted into the election results portal for public viewing. That is for public to view the results from the polling units. 

"So, where the number of accredited voters is less than the number of the people that voted, it means somebody has allowed those who were not accredited to vote. 

"Where the voters are more than the accredited people in the BVAS, you have won zero vote. There shouldn't be result in such a polling unit, that's our regulation. What I mean is that where the number of those who have voted is more than the people accredited to vote, our regulation says it is zero vote that will be put there. There is no need for discussion. We are not going to come back for anything because there is no basis for it. 

"Whether we like it or not, that technology is a game changer and we are going to showcase it here. we are going to see it in February. There is nothing that will be announced except from what is in the BVAS which will equal to the number of people that have voted," he added.

The INEC boss also dispelled insinuations regarding  BVAS machine as a scam saying, "yes, it is human beings that are behind the use of the machine, but there is a regulation about how the machine should work. Human beings have the tendency to make the machine work differently, in other words, if they say the accreditation is by the BVAS, the number of accredited voters must be equaled to the votes."

Asked on what should be done to prevent over voting in next month's general elections, Dr. Agboke noted that electoral laws had provided solutions to such occurrence, arguing that when such occurs, no vote is to be recorded.

"As regards the institutions that BVAS can be tampered with, ringing has been murdered by that technology. So there is no way you can do anything without BVAS, that is why we have beamed our searchlight on our people that will manage the machines, so that they will do the right thing according to the regulations. Anybody that does anything contrary shall not just be arrested but shall also be shamed as enemy of democracy in Nigeria. 

"There is nothing anybody can do without the machine. The machine has been programmed, no human interference can be allowed. But it is one thing for INEC to say use the machine for accreditation, and somebody can be harassed, can be threatened that you are not going to use the BVAS here, in such a situation, our regulation says 'let them have their way', when you come to the collation centre, that particularly place, where they did not allow you to use the BVAS, it is zero vote they will give them, that is the regulation, so, don't say you are going to use violence not to allow the use of BVAS.

"Form EC8A is the result of the election. You will only enter results into the Form EC8A and can not enter the results unless you have concluded the election. That means there is no manipulation anybody can do. The image of Form EC8A will be taken and it will be transmitted. There is a procedure. So, there is nothing anybody can do about that. 

"Internet is required for transmission, the internet is not required for accreditation and when you think there's no effective network, INEC has partnered with the network provider to ensure that they do their part perfectly, when there is no network, our staff know what to do, they will move some steps of kilometer and get network and do the transmission, that is the procedure. 

"It does need to be at the polling units. Don't forget the result has been taken and displayed already, so, all the official needs to do is to look for network and do the transmission, so it is not necessarily to get to the office before doing it, nothing will change that.

"You cannot alter it. The fear of altering the figure, altering the result does not arise at all because the headquarters is monitoring whatever you are doing", he added.

Dr. Agboke however declined to respond to calls by callers asking to know INEC's position on the of synchronisation, insisting that the matter is before the Tribunal already.

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