The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has responded to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request for the accreditation details of all polling units in the recent Bayelsa Imo and Kogi states.
A former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, had written to INEC requesting the details a day after the elections held on 11 November.
The details requested by Mr Chidoka, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are the figures on accredited persons extracted from the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) after the elections.
“I request the accreditation data generated by the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines used during the elections in Imo, Bayelsa, and Kogi states,” he wrote in the letter addressed to the INEC Chairman, a copy of which was posted on his X handle.
He requested that the data should include detailed accreditation figures for all polling units, as well as aggregated totals for each Registration Area (Wards), Local Government Area (LGA), and the respective states.
Mr Chidoka on Thursday took to his X page to disclose that the electoral commission had responded to his letter by providing him with the requested details.
INEC’s response includes the BVAS accreditation for all of the polling units where elections take place during the elections.
It was accompanied by a certification letter from the commission’s Information Communications Technology (ICT) department, according to the copies posted by Mr Chidoka.
“I hereby identify/certify that the document hereunder being data generated from the Computer of the ICT Department of the Independent National Electoral Commission Headquarters Abuja with respect to Voter Accreditation figures for the 11 and 12 November, 2023 Governorship Election in Bayelsa State, was produced during a period over which the computer was used regularly to store or process information concerning the activities of the commission including electoral activities,” INEC Assistant Director, Shiaka Aminetu, wrote in the certification letter accompanying the data.
In his post, Mr Chidoka, who was the director of Voter Intelligence, Strategy and Policy Analyst of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, appreciated the commission, noting that the response marks a significant milestone in Nigeria’s pursuit of transparent and accountable governance.
He said he had also commenced work on digitising and visualising the report.
“This unprecedented compliance by INEC is a testament to what can be achieved through persistent efforts and the courage to venture into uncharted territories,” he said.
“This act signifies a hopeful beginning in our collective effort to ensure that government agencies are not just answerable to the law but also to the people they serve.”
11 November elections
The three off-cycle governorship elections held simultaneously in the three states were the first elections conducted by the electoral commission since the disputed 2023 General Elections.
While the PDP candidate won in Bayelsa State, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates won in Imo and Kogi states.
In its election observation report, the Civil Society Organisation, Situation Room, said INEC’s performance was subpar and described the election as a setback for Nigeria’s democracy.
Noting reports of result falsifications and logistical challenges, the organisation said INEC did not show that it had learned from the mistakes of the past.
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