Former Minister Asks INEC for BVAS Data for Off-Cycle Voting

Former Minister Requests BVAS Data from INEC for Off-Cycle Polls

Osita Chidoka, a former Minister of Aviation, has submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) seeking comprehensive accreditation data from the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines used in the recently conducted 2023 governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi states. Chidoka is seeking transparency and justice and has stated his determination to pursue legal action if necessary.

Before delving into the details of Chidoka’s FOI request, it’s crucial to understand the significance of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System. BVAS represents a technological advancement in the electoral process, designed to enhance the accuracy and efficiency of voter accreditation. The system combines both fingerprint and facial recognition, providing a robust mechanism to verify the identity of voters during elections.

Osita Chidoka’s FOI request is a response to the growing need for transparency in electoral processes, a cornerstone of any thriving democracy. By specifically targeting the BVAS data from the governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi states, Chidoka aims to scrutinize and analyze the information to ensure the integrity of the electoral outcomes. The former minister’s commitment to justice and fairness is evident as he seeks to unveil the inner workings of the electoral machinery.

Transparency in electoral processes is paramount for fostering public trust and confidence in democratic institutions. The BVAS technology, with its biometric features, was introduced to minimize electoral fraud and manipulation, providing a more secure and reliable means of voter accreditation. Chidoka’s request for BVAS data aligns with the broader societal expectation for openness and accountability in the conduct of elections.

Osita Chidoka submits a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to INEC for BVAS accreditation data in 2023 elections
Chidoka prepared to pursue legal action if INEC doesn’t respond within the stipulated seven-day period under FOI law

The FOI request was officially received and acknowledged by INEC. If INEC does not respond substantively within the seven-day period stipulated by law, Chidoka has expressed readiness to initiate legal proceedings, with lawyers on standby to pursue legal enforcement of his right to information under the FOIA.

Rotimi Lawrence Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, confirmed the receipt of the request, stating that the commission would act in accordance with the law.

Osita Chidoka’s FOI request for BVAS data from the 2023 governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi states marks a pivotal moment in the pursuit of electoral transparency in Nigeria. The use of technology like BVAS represents a positive step towards enhancing the integrity of the electoral process. Chidoka’s determination to employ legal avenues, if necessary, underscores the importance of ensuring that the democratic foundations of the nation remain strong and resilient. As the story unfolds, it will undoubtedly spark broader conversations about the role of technology, accountability, and transparency in shaping the future of Nigerian elections.

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