INEC Shifts Saturday’s Governorship And State Assembly Polls To March 18
The governorship and state houses of assembly polls, scheduled to hold on Saturday 11 March, have been shifted to March 18 2023 by INEC.
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the sudden postponement, after a meeting of its chairman, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, with the states resident electoral commissioners last night in Abuja.
INEC spokesman, Festus Okoye in a statement issued after the meeting, said electioneering campaign scheduled to end today should continue until midnight of March 16.
Okoye said the painful decision to shift the poll was taken, due the implication of the ruling of the Presidential Poll Petition Tribunal on the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) delivered on Wednesday.
He explained that the ruling on its application seeking a review of the order came too late, and would not enable it reconfigure the BVAS for the conduct of the March 11 polls.
According to him, INEC requires more time to reconfigure the over 176,000 BVAS, backup the data of the last February 25 polls stored in them.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Presidential Poll Petition Tribunal had reviewed its order to INEC to allow the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, to inspect the material used for the conduct of the February 25 polls.
The Tribunal had ordered INEC not to tamper with the February 25 polls material, including Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).
INEC had filed a counter-petition that it should be allowed to reconfigure the BVAS for the conduct of the March 11 polls.
The Tribunal’s three member panel, ruling on the INEC’s application on Wednesday, unanimously agreed that stopping INEC from re-configuring the BVAS, would affect the conduct of the March 11 polls.
According to the Tribunal, allowing the petition of Peter Obi, would amount to tying the hands of INEC, while ordering INEC to store the data of the last February 25 polls in its server.
It also ordered INEC to later allow Obi to conduct both physical and digital examination of all the material used for the February 25 polls.