The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has refuted claims that it manipulated the accredited figures of voters in the November 11 Kogi governorship election, asserting that the election was conducted in a free, fair, and credible manner.
In a statement issued in Abuja by Alhaji Mohammed Haruna, a National Commissioner and member of the Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC dismissed allegations of tampering with voter figures as unfounded.
Haruna clarified that the most accurate and current voters’ accreditation data could be found in the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), a tool used for the authentication and accreditation of registered voters at polling units on election day. He explained that BVAS operates primarily offline to ensure a faster and seamless authentication and accreditation process for voters, automatically retaining the accreditation data of all voters.
The commissioner elaborated on the functionality of BVAS, highlighting that data exportation to the Accreditation Backend System (ABS) occurs when the BVAS application is active and connected to the Internet. This exportation, however, may not happen in situations of inactivity or poor internet connectivity. Haruna drew a parallel with the delays experienced in sending an SMS when mobile phone users face poor network services.
Haruna emphasized that presiding officers are required to press the data exportation button on the BVAS at the close of the poll, facilitating the synchronization process. This ongoing process may lead to changes in accreditation figures as more data is received to update the existing figures. Haruna clarified that the accreditation data cannot be altered on the BVAS after the close of the poll, and the caveat on the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal is a reflection of this ongoing synchronization.
He urged the public to disregard the misleading reports and misinformation, reiterating INEC’s commitment to transparency and the credibility of the electoral process.