After the February 25 presidential election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) rejected the Labour Party's request to observe how the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System machines were set up.
The commission argued that the BVAS backup data was a private matter that wasn't available for political parties to review.
Following the Abuja Court of Appeal's approval of INEC's request to reconfigure the machines, the Labour Party made a request to observe the data-back processes of the devices.
Yunusa Tanko, the chief spokesperson for the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, had also argued that INEC should "invite everybody with their technological experts to see what the commission intends to back up" for the sake of transparency.
He claimed that the electoral body "went to court for reconfiguration of the BVAS machines after Obi requested to inspect election materials," accusing the commission of changing the rules of engagement.
In response, Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, said political parties are not permitted to observe the configuration of the BVAS.
Oyekanmi compared the Labour Party's demand to students insisting on being present when their teachers decide what questions to ask on tests.
He said, “The reconfiguration or data backup processes of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System machines are strictly an internal affair of the Independent National Electoral Commission, which no external eyes are allowed to witness.
“Of course, political parties are free to witness a test run of the BVAS, and they did so during the mock accreditation exercise that we carried out before the general elections.
However, it is really, really curious that the Labour Party would express any desire to witness such an activity. What exactly do they want to see? Would the party also want to witness when ballot papers and result sheets are designed and printed?
“It is like students demanding to be present when their teachers are determining examination questions." "While the commission appreciates and maintains a very cordial relationship with the Inter-Party Advisory Council, the boundaries are well defined and known to both parties."
Oyekanmi added that it would take INEC three days to complete the reconfiguration of the machines.
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