Just In: Obi to be in court for judgment on reconfiguration of BVAS


Peter Obi

Peter Obi, the candidate of Labour Party in the February 25 presidential election has said he will be present at the Court of Appeal to witness the delivery of judgment on the application filed by his party against plans by the Independent National Electoral Commission to reconfigure its Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines ahead of the March 11 governorship and state houses of assembly election

The Court of Appeal had last week granted Obi and the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party in the February 25 election permission to inspect the BVAS machines ahead of their expected challenge of the declaration of Bola Tinubu of All Progressives Congress, APC as the winner of the election.

But INEC had approached Court of Appeal on Monday to seek permission for the reconfiguration of the BVAS machines ahead of the elections slated for this weekend.

INEC said the reconfiguration of the BVAS machines is necessary for their deployment for the governorship and state houses of assembly election.

However, counsel for Obi, Onyechi Ikpeazu, opposed the applications, arguing that that INEC may tamper with data embedded in the BVAS, which represented the actual results from polling units.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria prayed the court to allow Labour Party to conduct physical inspection of all the BVAS deployed for the presidential election to ensure that the evidence is preserved before the reconfiguration by by INEC.

The lawyer said if the data in the BVAS were are wiped out, the substance of the case by Labour Party will be affected.

But counsel for INEC, Tanimu Inuwa urged the court to refuse the application, insisting that granting the request by Obi and the LP would affect its preparations for the impending governorship and state assembly elections.

After hearing the arguments and counter arguments, a three-member panel of Court of Appeal led by Justice Joseph Ikyegh also adjourned to rule on the application filed by the LP and Obi today, Wednesday, 8 March.

Obi announced to his supporters on Wednesday morning that he will be present during the delivery of the court judgment.

He, however, warned them to shun unruly behaviour if they choose to come to the court for the hearing.

“Following INEC’s refusal to allow our party to inspect the materials (including BVAS) from the 25th February presidential elections, I am personally heading to the court today with our lawyers,” Obi tweeted early Wednesday.

He added that he will give more attention to his mission to retrieve his mandate.

“As we pursue due process and defer to the rule of law, I urge all the Obidients in the various states to continue campaigning for our candidates, namely, Gbadebo Rhodes Vivour in Lagos, Chijoke Edeoga in Enugu, Patrick Dakum in Plateau, Alex Otti in Abia, Ken Pela in Delta, Ibrahim Mshelia in Borno, to name just a few. It is also imperative that Obidients vote for candidates with Competence, Character, Capacity, and Compassion,” he added.

The LP presidential candidate his supporters not to turn the court premises into a rally ground.

He urged them to respect the sanctity of the court and allow the legal team to carry out their duties.

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