Soludo, deputy to receive Certificates of Return on Friday – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that the governor-elect in the Anambra State governorship election, Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo and his deputy will receive their Certificates of Return on Friday.

The commission stated this on Thursday, adding that the governor-elect and his deputy of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) would receive the certificates at the commission’s office in Awka, the state capital.

Also, the commission acknowledged that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) deployed at the weekend for accreditation of voters in the governorship election conducted last weekend in Anambra State fell short of expectations of most Nigerians.

Mr Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, in a statement on Thursday said the technology was overstretched as it performed two functions on the election day.

He said: “The system performed two functions on election day. First is the accreditation of voters using both the fingerprint and facial authentication.

“Secondly, it snaps the polling unit level result sheets and uploads them in real-time to the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal. This aspect of the BVAS functionality performed optimally such that by the early hours of Sunday morning, results from 4,987 out of 5,634 polling units had been upoladed for public view.

“While still in the field, our ICT team responded to the identified glitches in the accreditation of voters and corrected them.

“Consequently, in the Ihiala supplementary election, there were no reported incidents of BVAS malfunction.”

Okoye however dropped the hint that INEC “will carry out an in-depth examination of the system, review reports from accredited observers and the media and respond to all identified challenges ahead of the next major Area Council election in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), holding on 12th February 2021.

“We shall again test-run the system in the by-election(s) that may arise before then. The commission remains convinced that despite some glitches experienced in Anambra State governorship election, the deployment of technology in elections is better than the best manual process.”

The INEC National Commissioner, who disclosed that the governor-elect and deputy will be presented Certificates of Return on Friday at the commission’s office in Awka, the state capital, further thanked security agencies for ensuring that the weekend election was conducted under a peaceful atmosphere.

“The commission expresses its gratitude to the security agencies, election duty officials, political parties and candidates, the National Peace Committee under the leadership of our former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, religious and community leaders, sociocultural associations, civil society organisations and the media for the sacrifice and support in ensuring that the election was conducted and peacefully concluded.

“We look forward to the support of all Nigerians in the forthcoming elections. We will continue to work hard to protect the sanctity of the ballot and to conduct free, fair and credible elections anywhere in Nigeria.”

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