In a significant development at the ongoing governorship election petition tribunal in Kaduna, a total of 316 Bimodal Voters’ Accreditation System (BVAS) machines were presented and officially admitted as exhibits. This crucial evidence was brought forward on Tuesday, shedding light on the intricate details surrounding the electoral process.
The BVAS machines have been officially presented as evidence in court following a subpoena served on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The 1st and 2nd petitioners, Isa Ashiru and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) requested the inclusion of these items through their legal representative, Samuel Atung (SAN).
In a dramatic turn of events at the court, Yusuf Zubairu, representing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), took the stand and delivered a compelling written statement under oath before the tribunal’s registrar on July 25, 2023. Zubairu’s purpose was to present the BVAS machines from a staggering 19 Local Government Areas of the state.
During his court deposition, the Commission was compelled to provide evidence showcasing the utilization of the machines in aggregating election outcomes during the recent gubernatorial election in the state.
In a recent testimony, Zubairu, an employee of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the ICT/Voters’ Research Department, asserted that the results displayed on the Irev platform accurately represented the votes cast during the gubernatorial election held on March 18, 2023, in the State.
According to the INEC staff, it was emphasized that the BVAS machines are impervious to tampering, both prior to, during and after the election. Additionally, it was clarified in court that each machine possesses its own distinct identity numbers.
During the tribunal proceedings, a witness took the stand and provided a demonstration using one of the machines. The witness made a startling revelation, stating that polling unit 050 of Makera ward in Kaduna South LGA had a total of 715 registered voters. However, shockingly, only 107 voters were accredited for the election, raising concerns about the accuracy and integrity of the electoral process.
In a recent development, the tribunal has granted the application put forth by the counsel of the 1st and 2nd petitioners, Chief Duro Adeyele (SAN), who also happens to be the legal representative of Kaduna State Governor, Uba Sani. However, it is worth noting that Chief Adeyele objected to the admissibility of the BVAS machines through the witness.
During the proceedings, the counsel made an additional point, emphasizing that the witness, Yusuf Zubairu, did not mention in his deposition that he would be willing to showcase and explain the functionality of the BVAS machine before the tribunal. The counsel firmly stated that the witness’ statement did not include any reference to a demonstration of the BVAS machine.
In a compelling counterargument, Ashiru, along with the counsel representing the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), elucidated that the Commission had been duly subpoenaed to present and showcase the machine in question before the court.
In a significant development, the court has decided to adjourn the ongoing case to Wednesday, 26th July 2023. This decision was made in order to allow for the continuation of the hearing.