Festus Okoye, the spokesperson for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has questioned the opposition parties’ dependence on results posted on the IREV platform rather than relying on their own agents. In an interview on Channels Television, Okoye also admitted his lack of knowledge about the technical glitch that halted the upload of presidential election results on the IREV portal.
During the interview, Okoye defended the commission against allegations of wasteful spending, asserting that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) was effectively utilized for voter accreditation and result uploads during the polls. He argued that it would be unfair to judge the entire performance of the commission based on a single glitch in the result upload process for the presidential election.
Highlighting the extensive network of political party agents, Okoye emphasized that nearly all parties had nominated and accredited over 170,000 polling agents. These agents served as primary sources of evidence for the results obtained from polling units. Okoye stressed that political parties should not solely rely on result uploads to gather the evidence needed to present their cases in court, but instead utilize the combination of polling unit results and the BVAS system, which facilitates the transmission of data to collation centers.
He said; “It is not fair to judge the entire performance of the commission on the basis of a glitch in the result upload for the presidential election.
“Almost all the political parties nominated and got accredited at least over 170,000 polling agents. What that means is that they had primary evidence of the results from the polling units.
“It is those results from the polling units, together with the BVAS as a machine itself that goes to the collation centre. So, it is not true for a political party to rely only on result upload in order to get the evidence with which it wants to prosecute its case in court.”
However, when pressed by Seun Okinbaloye, a prominent media personality, to explain the cause of the technical glitch, Okoye candidly admitted his limited knowledge of technology and expressed his inability to provide a detailed explanation.
The statement by INEC’s spokesperson raises concerns over the opposition’s dependence on IREV results and highlights the need for parties to consider alternative sources of evidence. The admission of a lack of technical expertise regarding the glitch further adds to the ongoing discussions about the transparency and reliability of electronic voting systems in the country.