Jega Demands INEC Explanation Over IReV Failure

Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, has asserted that the electoral body owes Nigerians an explanation for the breakdown of its Result Viewing Portal (IReV) and the Bimodal Voter Registration Systems (BVAS) during the 2023 general elections.
In an interview on Inside Sources with Laolu Akande aired on Channels Television on Friday, the esteemed political scientist, also a former Vice-Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano, attributed the malfunction to alleged interference by desperate politicians.
These individuals, Jega stated, compromised the integrity of the two technological systems introduced by INEC for vote accreditation and electronic transmission.
During the February 2023 presidential and National Assembly polls, opposition parties decried the inability of INEC officials at polling units to electronically upload election results to the IReV, as mandated by Section 60 of the Electoral Act 2022. Expressing discontent, the parties objected to the manual collation of results and the subsequent declaration of winners.
Acknowledging the existence of technical glitches hindering real-time transmission of results, the electoral body pledged to rectify the issues.
Nonetheless, opposition parties resorted to legal action, contesting the victory of Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who emerged victorious in the presidential election. Tinubu’s triumph was upheld by the tribunal and the Supreme Court.
Jega, while acknowledging INEC’s good intentions, highlighted how certain politicians circumvented the IReV and BVAS systems, undermining their effectiveness in ensuring transparent and credible elections.
He said, “In 2023, INEC did its best under very difficult circumstances and a lot of these difficult circumstances were caused by the mindset of our selfish politicians who wanted to win by hook or by crook.
“INEC has overtime introduced technology to make the process of election results very transparent with integrity but from my own experience when I was in INEC from 2011 to 2015, and I suspect that a lot of that has continued to be so up to 2023, our reckless politicians try to be a step ahead of INEC; if you introduce something today and you try it, they try to be a step ahead of you and beat it by the next election. And of course, they can also use ways and means to not only truncate but also bypass something that has actually been put legitimately in order to add to the integrity of the process.
“If you ask my opinion, I feel very strongly that INEC needs to tell us more about what happened with the IReV. In fact, at one point, I was even calling for a thorough public inquiry about what happened with regards to IReV. I feel that something has happened, that in spite of the confidence and the very articulate manner the INEC chairman (Mahmood Yakubu) had spoken about the IReV and it then failed.
“I believe that some of our reckless politicians may have infiltrated it and truncated it but INEC will take the blame for that.”
According to him, once the court cases are resolved, “we need to go back to the bottom of what happened with the IReV”.
Ada Peter
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