INEC refutes voter accreditation data manipulation in Kogi guber poll

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  • APC calls for arrest, prosecution of Melaye for alleged cyber-crime

The Independent National Electoral Commission has dismissed claims that it tampered with the accreditation figures of voters in the Kogi governorship election results uploaded on the INEC Result Viewing portal, describing the allegation as baseless and unfounded.

The Commission stated this on Tuesday in a statement signed by its national commissioner and member Information and Voter Education Committee, Mohammed Kudu Haruna.

INEC insisted that the most accurate and up-to-date voters’ accreditation data is available in the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), “which is used for the authentication and accreditation of registered voters at various polling units on election day. It automatically retains the accreditation data of all voters.”

The nation’s electoral body disclosed that BVAS was designed to work offline without internet connectivity.

This, according to him, “facilitates faster and seamless authentication and accreditation experience for voters.

“However, when its application is active or in use, depending on the strength of its connection to the internet, the BVAS automatically exports the accreditation data to the Accreditation Backend System (ABS).

“This exportation of data does not happen when the device’s application is inactive or when the internet connectivity is poor.”

INEC said the same experience applies to a situation where more than one BVAS gadget is used at a polling unit with more than 1,250 registered voters.

“This could be compared to a situation when poor network services delay the delivery of an SMS sent from one individual to another through a mobile phone,” it added.

It stated that at the close of the poll, presiding officers were expected to press the data exportation button on the BVAS to ensure that all the accreditation data were exported to the ABS.

INEC added that synchronisation of BVAS and ABS was ongoing, stating that accreditation data cannot be changed on the BVAS after the close of the poll.

It, therefore, called on Nigerians to disregard the misleading report and misinformation.

APC calls for arrest, prosecution of Melaye for alleged cyber-crime

In another development, the All Progressives Congress in Kogi State has called on security agencies to immediately arrest the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party in Saturday’s governorship election in the state, Dino Melaye, for alleged cyber-crime, which the party claimed he had already confessed to in a live television programme.

The Kogi APC Governorship Campaign Council said, for Melaye, who was defeated at the poll, to have claimed on national television that he had access to the back-end server of INEC was “like walking into the prison yard and demanding to be locked up.”

The Director, Media and Publicity/Spokesman of the Campaign Council, Kingsley Fanwo, who spoke at a “Thank You Press Conference” in Lokoja, the state capital, on Tuesday, said security agencies, had no tedious job to do “on a suspect who confesses to a crime.”

“Dino Melaye has openly confessed that he hacked into the back-end of the Independent National Electoral Commission. He should be arrested and prosecuted for cyber-crime,” Fanwo said.

He lambasted the former lawmaker for saying the INEC Chairman’s children should be ashamed of him, saying this was uncalled for, unethical and immoral.

“Are Dino Melaye’s children proud of his shameless physical combats on the floor of the National Assembly? Are his children proud of the fact that their mother leveled allegations of physical injuries against their father? Are Dino’s children proud of him?

“Dino Melaye was never in the race for the governorship. The perennial contestant was in it for business and we do not see his allegations as anything more than the ranting of a thoroughly rejected political jobber.

“We can’t beat a child and expect him not to cry. But we will be magnanimous in victory. Someone who claimed to have boycotted an election is here complaining about the conduct. He was not even at his Polling Unit to vote. How he got over 40,000 votes should be probed.

“We call on our members to celebrate with moderation. We are one people and we must remain united as a people. The results of the election have shown that it is our party alone that believes in the unity of our dear state. We won the election and also the battle against those who wanted to drag our state to the dark ages of ethnic division. Kogites, this victory is yours and it will herald fresh air of consolidation and continuity,” Fanwo added.

The APC thanked the great people of Kogi State for massively voting for its candidate, Usman Ododo, saying the resounding victory had strengthened the social contract between the APC and the people of Kogi State.

“It has also scaled the onus of responsibility on us to continue to provide first class schools, health institutions, road infrastructure and many others that the current administration in the state has been doing over the past 7 years and 9 months,” he added.