Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Nigerian investigative Journalist and founder, Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ), Fisayo Soyombo, has said that the spokespersons of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) appear to be misleading the international community on the functions and use of the Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS machines in the February 25, presidential election in Nigeria.
The ace investigative journalist also maintained that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, might not regain public confidence over its failure to transmit the results of the presidential poll via the BVAS.
Soyombo was reacting to Thursday’s international campaigns of the Tinubu media team in the United States geared towards winning international acceptance for the presidential election, which many citizens and observers had described as flawed.
In a series of tweets on Friday, Soyombo lampooned INEC for violating its own guidelines, arguing that no amount of claims can justify the action or make the people to easily trust the electoral umpire.
According to Soyombo, “a careful study of the pre-election regulations released by by INEC – not me – shows that BVAS and IREV serve two completely different, even if related functions.”
The posts read: “If BVAS works for accreditation but it hasn’t been used to instantly upload a scanned copy of EC8 to IREV after vote counting, how then are we sure what was eventually uploaded after numerous hours/days was not tampered with?
“It may or may not have been tampered with; the only way to know was via that instant upload to IREV. Since it didn’t happen, we, the public, no longer know. And that’s credibility gone down the drain. And no amount of revisionism can change it.
“I hope nobody in the int’l community, not least the US, believes the claim by Tinubu’s spokesmen at y/day’s Washington pressere that “IREV is just a viewing portal, which has nothing to do with accreditation or verification of voters or even the counting or recording of votes.”
“IREV was the one piece of innovation introduced to prevent results manipulation from the various stages of transmission from polling booths to INEC’s collation centres.
“Quite a lot of people participated in this election simply because of IREV. The IREV no-show remains an irreversible dent on the presidential election. And this remains a fact in Nigeria, the US or UK, wherever this election is discussed.”