How The Supreme Court Rendered BVAS A Toothless Bulldog

By: Ambrose Nwaogwugwu, May 09, 2023. 
In my earlier update immediately the judgement was given by the Supreme Court, I made a revelation of how the Nigeria's apex court has just made use of BVAS very uselẹss.

Queries came from left, right and center raising eyebrows; I was in a hurry to make that update hence I couldn't provide more details on my postulation and I wish to do so with this addendum.

First, let's interrogate the rulings of the court of first instance, which is in this case, the tribunal — the tribunal which was led by Justice Tertse Kume, According to the tribunal, the petitioners, Oyetola and APC, successfully established that there was overvoting in 744 polling units in the state.

How were they able to prove that?

They relied on the BVAS reports of the election and figures from their back end servers which shows clearly that there was over voting in 744 polling units. It was after a declaration was made using those padded votes, INEC began reconciliation to legitimatize the electoral heist which the tribunal called a 'thought of after'. 

“the defences of the respondents are tainted with fundamental flaws, irreconcilable and unreliable, incapable of defeating the credible evidence tendered by the petitioners in respect of the 744 polling units where over voting has been established.

“The inference we hereby draw from the fact established by the evidence and record is that the election conducted on the 16th day of July 2022 was done in substantial non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Acts and extant regulations. Moreover, exhibit BVR has not been withdrawn by the first respondent who made and issued it. The petitioners relied on exhibit BVR in maintaining this petition."

(Exhibit BVR is the BVAS reports provided by the INEC and the petitioners Oyetola and APC relied on that very report to prove their case of over voting). 

“Similarly, the exhibit tendered by the respondents after exhibit BVR submitted by learned counsel to the petitioners was thought of after the declaration of the result on the 17th day of July, 2022.

“The said conduct of the respondents, especially, the first respondent amounts to tampering with official records. The conduct of the first respondent in the said election under consideration has produced multiple accusation reports, contrary to the declaration of the vote, to conduct of free, fair and credible elections on the basis of one man or woman with one vote."

Relying on that, the tribunal nullified the declaration of Gov. Ademola Adeleke of the PDP.

“For the sake of emphasis, the total lawful vote cast for each of the candidates after the said deduction of invalid votes is 314,931 for the first Petitioner (APC) and 290,266 votes for the second respondent (PDP).

Burying the BVAS.....

But the appellate courts: appeal and Supreme Court disagreed with the tribunal:

For the Appeal Court, Upholding Mr Adeleke’s victory on Friday, the Court of Appeal held that the tribunal was “wrong to reach the conclusion that there was over-voting during the state governorship election held on 16 July 2022.”

The three-member panel of the appellate court led by Mohammed Shuaibu unanimously overturned the tribunal, Mr Shuaibu who prepared and read the lead decision said “the burden of proving the allegations of over-voting lies squarely with the respondents (Mr Oyetola and the APC).”

“It is inconceivable to assume that the testimonies of the respondents’ witnesses had any probative value,” the appellate court held.

Now, look at the most interesting part; the appeal court agreed with the tribunal that the figures which Mr. Oyetola and APC used to prove their case of over voting was from the BVAS and INEC's back-end server but they said that was simply not enough to establish over voting and in effect, the BVAS report was as good as uselẹss. 

“Though the 1st and 2nd respondents (Oyetola and APC) relied on BVAS reports obtained from INEC to prove over-voting, they did not, nonetheless, call petitioner’s witness 1 to speak to the reports, that is, Exhibits BVR reports from INEC’s back-end server." they ruled.

Affirming same position, the Supreme Court in today's judgment made the matter and case under review much more interesting.....


This has equally rested the matter of electronic transmission of election results to INEC INEC's server and the other debates. 

You may not take Nwaogwugwu's words for it, see Vanguard Newspaper's report. (paragraphs 5&6).

'The apex court held that since it was not in dispute that the BVAS contain a record of accredited voters, “it is, therefore, the only direct and primary record of voters accredited at polling units on election day”.

It held that nothing in either Section 47 of the Electoral Act 2022 or Regulations 18- 23 of the INEC’s Regulations, made it mandatory for Presiding Officers in an election to transmit by BVAS, the number of accredited voters in each polling unit to the backend server.'

If you must know, this assertion by the Supreme Court was to answer the tribunal's judgement that APC proved that there was indeed an over voting in 744 polling units of Osun state which showed clear case of over voting but the Supreme Court said BVAS and back-end server's reports are not enough to prove over voting....that, there is more.

It is now settled to note that this very judgement from the Supreme Court is the first technical and psychological defeat of the Obidients and their petition at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT). 

The Obi's petition is built around over voting in places they believe they won which were won by the APC and with this very judgement of the Supreme Court; it is now safe to say that the petitioners (whether Obi or Atiku) building their case relying on BVAS to establish over voting is more or less dead on arrival.

So, like I wrote in my first update, before the hordes of Obidients (who are majorly ignorant) would be singing prises of this very judgment, they should interrogate the facts of these two judgements from the appellate courts.

It is the height of ignorance for any Obidient to celebrate this judgment as it dealt a big blow to their petition at the PEPT as if that sound and logical judgment of the Osun Election Petition Tribunal was upheld, there could have been some rays of hope for the BVAS.

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