A former president of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Olisa Agbakoba, has claimed he made a shocking revelation about the role of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, in the just concluded general elections.
Agbakoba also stated that BVAS was a mere tool for voter accreditation unlike how it was represented to Nigerians by the National Assembly in the enactment of the Electoral Act 2023.
He disclosed this on Wednesday when he appeared on Arise Television’s Morning Show program.
The legal expert said the much hyped BVAS was not the magic as presented by the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Yakubu Mahmood, before the election.
He said, “If you were to ask my view, and I have been in the election petition for a long time, this is one of the worst election petition ever conducted. I say it for a number of reasons.
“First, if you listen to the chairman of the election management body, the INEC, he made clear to us, ad nauseam, BVAS is the magic; and it turns out BVAS wasn’t the magic. And I had the unfortunate displeasure of actually checking what exactly is BVAS in the law, and I was shocked that actually BVAS is not what we thought was represented to us by the National Assembly in the enactment of the electoral act 2023.
“To summarize, BVAS is no more than a tool to accredit a voter. I suspect, without saying that’s the way to go, I suspect BVAS is not that important in the petition as we think because the Osun Court of Appeal decision did not accept the argument by the appellant that the BVAS is the magic that determines over voting. The court wanted to see a link to the original old ballot papers. In other words, the presidential Polling Units become important and I was taken aback by that. I found out when I studied it that INEC has legal authority to present results either normal paper way or the BVAS. So there’s no real change.”