During the proceedings of the Kano State Governorship Election Tribunal on Tuesday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) requested permission to retrieve the 21 BVAS machines it had presented as evidence to recharge them.
Mr. Ocheka, an INEC employee, informed the court that the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System machines needed to be protected as they required codes from China to reactivate when their batteries ran out.
“For safety reasons, allow me to return the BVAS machines to the INEC office, and I will bring them back whenever the court requires them,” Mr. Ocheka informed the tribunal.
The BVAS machines were utilized in 21 polling stations across 10 Local Government Areas (LGAs), namely Tudun-Wada, Gaya, Gezawa, Bunkure, Bebeji, Ungogo, Ajingi, Warawa, Karaye, and Garko.
The petitioner, the All Progressives Congress (APC), filed a petition on April 9 challenging the declaration of Abba Kabir-Yusuf of the NNPP as the winner of the gubernatorial election held on March 18, 2023.
The respondents in the case are INEC, Governor Kabir-Yusuf, and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
Previously, on June 6, the tribunal granted permission to the petitioner to access and inspect the BVAS machines used by INEC in the governorship election.
During the latest session, INEC’s counsel, E.A. Oshayomi, presented Mr. Ocheka to the court along with the machines.
The petitioner’s counsel, Nureini Jimoh, submitted the 21 BVAS machines to the tribunal as evidence and objected to their return to INEC.
Counsel for Mr. Kabir-Yusuf, R.A. Lawal, and counsel for NNPP, John Baylesha, did not object to the admissibility of the BVAS machines as evidence.
“Now that the petitioner has tendered the machines, it is up to the tribunal to decide where they should be kept for safety reasons,” he stated.
The petitioner has called 18 witnesses thus far to testify to support their case.
The three-member panel, led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay, adjourned the matter until July 12 to continue the hearing.