The Independent National Electoral Commission has revealed that political parties cannot act as watchdogs over the activities of the electoral official.
Festus Okoye, National Commissioner of INEC and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, stated this on Sunday night. He explained that the commission was established to regulate political parties, not the other way around.
On March 10, 2023, the LP stated that the electoral umpire came up with the idea of reconfiguring BIVAS after its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, requested to review the election materials.
The party also disputed the commission’s claim that the data retrieved from the BVAS were validated in the absence of independent witnesses and political party representatives.
The Presidential Election Petition Court of the Court of Appeal in Abuja granted the commission’s request to reconfigure the BVAS used in the presidential election.
Okoye stated on Channels Television‘s Politics Today that the Labour Party’s request to observe the commission’s reconfiguration and backup of results on its Bimodal Voter Accreditation System machines would not be granted.
The commission will not permit a political party to view our cloud, IReV, or BIVAS’s brain.
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“Every political party that deploys polling agents has a copy of the polling unit-level results. However, if a political party requests access to the database containing the biometric information of all registered voters, we will not permit it because the law prohibits it.
“Look, the commission is the regulator of political parties, and political parties cannot attempt to regulate the commission because so many things are occurring. “The commission will now permit that to occur,” said Okoye.
He also stated that parties and individuals planning peaceful protests against the conduct of the presidential election on February 25, 2023 are welcome at the commission’s headquarters.
Regarding the protest issue, the commission is a public trust. Regarding the commission, any Nigerian with a grievance has the constitutional and legal right to file a complaint with the commission.
“Because the commission is a public trust and a public institution, we cannot prohibit anyone from protesting,” he added.