A former president of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba has disclosed that contrary to what many Nigerians believe, the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) can’t perform any ‘magic’ regarding the final outcome of any election.
He argued that the deployment of the BVAS machines for the conduct of the 2023 election in Nigeria did not have much impact.
This is as he argued that the BVAS is merely a tool for voter accreditation and can’t curb over-voting outrightly as many people have been made to believe.
He added that a closer look at the electoral act shows that the Independent national electoral commission ( INEC) is still empowered to present results either on the normal paper way or through the BVAS.
Agbakoba made the observations on Wednesday during an interview appearance on Arise Television’s Morning Show program.
He said, “If you were to ask my view, and I have been in the election petition for a long time, this is one of the worst election petitions ever conducted. I say it for a number of reasons.
“First, if you listen to the chairman of the election management body, the INEC, he made clear to us, ad nauseam, BVAS is the magic, and it turns out BVAS wasn’t the magic. And I had the unfortunate displeasure of actually checking what exactly is BVAS in the law, and I was shocked that actually BVAS is not what we thought was represented to us by the National Assembly in the enactment of the electoral act 2023.
“To summarize, BVAS is no more than a tool to accredit a voter. I suspect, without saying that’s the way to go, I suspect BVAS is not as important in the petition as we think because the Osun Court of Appeal decision did not accept the argument by the appellant that the BVAS is the magic that determines over voting. The court wanted to see a link to the original old ballot papers. In other words, the presidential Polling Units become important and I was taken aback by that. I found out when I studied it that INEC has the legal authority to present results either through normal paper way or the BVAS. So there’s no real change.”