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Political Parties Can't Regulate INEC-Okoye

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that political parties can’t regulate the affairs of the Commission, adding that it was the Commission’s duty to supervise the activities of political parties. This was made known on Sunday by Mr Festus Okoye, the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education during the Politics Today programme on Channels TV. Okoye made this disclosure in response to the request of the Labour Party (LP) to monitor the Commission’s process of reconfiguring and backing up of results on the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) devices.

He said, “On the issue of a political party saying they want to come and look at our cloud, IRev or into the brain of the BVAS, the Commission will not allow that to happen.

“Every political party that deploys polling agents has a copy of the polling units level results and if a political party now says they want to come into the Commission to look at the database containing biometric information of all registered voters, we won’t allow that to happen because the laws do not allow that.

“Look, the Commission is the regulator of political parties and the political parties cannot, just because of so many things taking place, come around and want to regulate the Commission. The Commission will not allow that to happen.”

He also stated that the Commission would welcome peaceful protesters at its headquarters, regarding grievances over the conduct of February 25, 2023 presidential poll.

According to him, “In terms of the issue of protest, the Commission is a public trust. And as far as the Commission is concerned, any Nigerian who has any grievance has the constitutional and legal right to come to the Commission to protest.

“The Commission will not prevent any individual or group of individuals, any political party or association not to protest because the Commission is a public trust and a public institution and we cannot prevent anybody from coming to protest.”