INEC denies refusing aggrieved political parties access to election materials

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has denied the allegation that it has refused to allow aggrieved political parties to inspect election materials as ordered by the Appeal Court.

INEC National Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, made the clarification, when he appeared as a guest on Arise TV on Sunday.

Okoye advised lawyers of the aggrieved parties, to channel their request appropriately, so that, “the issues can be handled expeditiously.”

He added that INEC, at the national level, does not conduct elections, but rather elections are conducted at the state and local government level.

The INEC Commissioner also stated that the commission will direct the parties to the appropriate place where they will find the materials they want.

He said, “The commission will not deliberately or flagrantly disobey the order of a properly constituted court of law, and in this case, the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting at the Court of Appeal.

“I think that what the parties involved in this election should do, is to send lawyers who understand the trajectory of the electoral process and request for some of these materials.

“If you are requesting to scan ballot papers used during the election, ballot papers are not in the headquarters of INEC.

“Some of these ballot papers are still in our local government offices and so the proper place to scan them will be at our local government offices.”

Okoye said INEC is only resetting the BVAS, to recognize the new date for the forthcoming election.

He explained that the BVAS will not allow itself to reconfigure until all the data in it has been uploaded to the commission’s server.

Okoye ruled out the possibility of INEC allowing individuals to witness the reconfiguring of the BVAS, saying the device contains sensitive information of biometrics of other individuals.