Appeal Court Rejects Peter Obi’s Request As INEC Gets Nod On BVAS
The court of appeal sitting in Abuja, the nation’s capital, has refused to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from reconfiguring the bimodal voter accreditation system (BVAS) ahead of the governorship and state assembly elections.
The three-member panel of the court of appeal led by Joseph Ikyegh in a ruling delivered on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, held that restraining the electoral commission would constrain INEC from conducting the March 11 elections.
Obi had in an application, sought an order of the court “restraining the 1st respondent (INEC) from tampering with the information embedded in the BVAS machines until the due inspection is conducted and certified true copies (CTC) of them issued”.
However, the Court agreed with INEC that information on accreditation contained in the BVAS devices had been uploaded into its backup server and could be accessed at any time.
The Appellate Court predicated its agreement with INEC on the ground that all averments in the counter affidavit of the Electoral body were not challenged.
The Court said that granting the request of Obi and the Labour Party would tie down the hand of INEC in the conduct of Saturday’s governorship election.
The Court further held that the claims of INEC that information on the BVAS devices cannot be tampered with during uploading was not attacked by Obi and as such, deemed authentic.
According to the court, allowing the objections by Obi and his party would amount to “tying the hands of the respondent, INEC.”
Besides, it noted that INEC had in an affidavit it filed before the court, assured that the accreditation data contained in the BVAS could not be tampered with or lost, as they would be stored and easily retrieved from its accredited back-end server.
It further observed that neither Obi nor LP controverted the depositions in INEC’s affidavit, stressing that since such averments were not challenged, it amounted to admission by the applicants.
Nevertheless, the court ordered INEC to allow the applicants to inspect and carry out digital forensic examination of all the electoral materials used in the conduct of the elections, as well as to avail them the Certified True Copy, CTC, of result of the physical inspection of the BVAS.
Note that Peter Obi and his party had in their application marked: CA/PEC/09m/23, sought permission to be allowed to conduct physical inspection of all the BVAS that were used for the presidential poll.
The applicants, through their team of lawyers led by Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, said the essence of the application was to enable them to extract data embedded in the BVAS, “which represent the actual results from Polling Units.”
They specifically applied for; “leave to carryout digital forensic and physical inspection of BVAS, etc”, as well as to obtain the Certified True Copy, CTC, of all the data in the BVAS.”
While opposing the application, INEC told the court that there were a total of 176,000 BVAS that were deployed to polling units during the presidential election.
“Each polling unit has its own particular BVAS machine which we need to configure for the forthcoming elections.
“It will be very difficult for us, within the period, to reconfigure the 176, 000 BVAS.
“We have already stated in our affidavit that no information in the BVAS will be lost as we will transfer all the data in the BVAS to our back-end server.
“We need the BVAS configured. So, granting this application will be a cog in the process and may delay the conduct of the elections,” INEC’s lead lawyer, Tanimu Inuwa (SAN), pleaded.
ANTI PARTY ACTIVITIES: Esan Central APC, Suspends Nine Leaders, Appoints Bello
Nine Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Esan Central LGA have been suspended at an extraordinary meeting held this evening at Irrua, the LGA capital.
The suspended leaders include APC State Vice Chairman, Chief Francis Inegbeniki, Esan Central foremost Party Leader, Prince Willy Shaka Momodu, Ward Leader, Hon Abudu Ugbesia, among six others.
The suspended nine APC leaders are alleged to have held a clandestine meeting at a hotel in Eidenu, Irrua on the eve of the House of Assembly election and resolved to work against their party candidate for the House of Assembly election, Hon Victor Edoror. It is alleged that they were induced by the ruling party and their grand conspiracy to disallow Hon Edoror to get into the House and become the Speaker which might scuttle their agenda for Esan governor candidate from Esan Central LGA.
The meeting which was attended enmass by angry members and party executives of the party across the LGA appointed former LGA Councillior, and House of Assembly election aspirant, Hon. Bello Oyaziwolo, as the acting Leader, to oversee the affairs of the party pending the determination of the investigation into the degree of involvement of each of the suspended leader.
Interestingly, the Deputy Leader of the Party in Esan Central LGA and former Vice Chairman of the LGA, Hon Francis Ubene, was exempted from suspension because preliminary investigation revealed that he was in the meeting allegedly called by Chief Inegbeniki, but he refused to agree with their alleged plan to sabotage the election for Hon Edoror because according to him “I have forgiven him and if I have forgiven him, I cannot work against him or the party”.
Speaking with Hon Bello, after the appointment, the new LGA Leader said he was not interested in Leading the party for selfish reasons but would commit himself to helping the party rid itself of betrayals and inept leaders in the LGA and hopefully allow a free process to produce the next LGA Leader.
Delta: Oborevwori’s Victory, A Turning Point, Says Ebireri
Media Consultant, Henry Ebireri, has urged Delta State governor-elect, Rt. Hon Sheriff Oborevwori to embark only on programmes that are genuine, attainable, purposeful, durable and people-oriented.
He also urged him to make a significant impact at improving the lot of the masses.
In a statement in Sapele, the media consultant described the March 18 governorship election in Delta State as ‘’’a turning point, a landmark in the history of the oil rich state’’.
He appealed to Oborevwori to steer Delta State in the needed direction.
‘’There is a very high expectation from the governor-elect by the people. He must direct his energy towards inculcating the spirit of self-reliance among the citizenry through economic and empowerment programmes’’
The media professional listed security, youth and women empowerment, agriculture, health, education, infrastructural development, industrial revolution, cultural and tourism rebirth, communication and sports development as key areas to be addressed by the governor-elect.
The statement underscored the future of Delta youths infrastructure and security challenges.
He urged Oborevwori to be fair to all.
He also urged him to recruit only qualified, competent and meritorious hands to help him develop the oil-rich state.
‘’They should be people of integrity, honesty and trust. The team should comprise only tested, dedicated, loyal, courageous, selfless, focused and visionary men and women’’
Ebireri further commended Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for his immense contribution to the political development of Delta State.
Senator Ovie Omo-Agege Rejects INEC’s Declaration of Oborevwori As Winner of Delta Poll
A while ago, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Delta State announced Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, gubernatorial flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the governor-elect following the March 18 governorship election.
The declaration was made despite the myriad of infractions and acts of impunity on the part of the PDP in the course of the election. These were brought to the attention of INEC with incontrovertible proof.
The March 18 election was characterized by massive fraud, unprecedented vote buying and voter suppression perpetrated by the PDP in the course of the election.
The fraudulent nature of PDP’s so-called victory are just too damning and daring for it to be acceptable in any decent society. Most of those infractions are on the public domain and known to INEC officials and the security agencies involved in superintending the election.
In the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections, the results pointed to an unequivocal rejection of the PDP. Of the three senatorial zones in the state, APC won two while PDP controversially edged out the Labour Party in the Delta North Senate race.
It was an unadulterated verdict of Deltans on how they have fared under 24 years of governance of their state by PDP.
On the basis of the factors listed and more that will come later, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, governorship candidate of the APC in Delta State as well as the leadership of the party, unequivocally reject the declaration by INEC of Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori of the PDP as winner of the March 18 governorship election.
We will challenge this fraudulent result using all legal means.
As a democrat and Deputy President of the Senate, Omo-Agege will explore all lawful avenues to reclaim the mandate freely given to him by the good people of Delta State.
To the numerous supporters of APC and the entire public that share in Omo-Agege’s vision of building a new Delta State, we urge you all to remain calm, peaceful and law abiding.
I can assure all our teeming supporters and all Deltans that the PDP pyrrhic celebration of a stolen mandate will be short-lived.
By the grace of God and the clearly expressed wish of the people, this electoral heist will be reversed and Senator Omo-Agege will be sworn in on May 29, 2023 as the lawfully elected Governor of Delta State.
Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy President of the Senate and Governorship Candidate of APC, Delta State, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege
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