The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that one of the major roles of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) is to prevent identity theft.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, disclosed this Sunday in a chat with newsmen in Abuja.
His assertion followed the non-validation of the Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) of a registrant in Imo State during Saturday’s BVAS mock accreditation exercise in designated Polling Units (PUs) across the country.
He said, “The lady in question is fair complexioned. The picture captured during registration is that of a dark complexioned lady. No one can identify her with the picture. No one can identify the person on the register. The BVAS could not identify her 10 fingers.
“Someone registered for her. So, there is the possibility that the name belongs to her but the fingerprints and image on the BVAS belong to another individual. All the observers agreed that she is not truthful. That is the power of the BVAS. Identity theft will not be allowed.”
Meanwhile, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Plateau State, Dr Oliver Tersoo Agundu, has identified fake news and misinformation as causes of low turnout of voters during last Saturday’s BVAS mock accreditation exercise in the state.
Our correspondents who went round observed that the machines were capturing people’s data very fast through fingerprints and facial pictures, except for a few cases of hitches.
Speaking in an interview with Daily Trust on the outcome of the Plateau exercise and explaining the reason for the low turnout, the REC said that regardless of the misinformation, the commission embarked on sensitisation and other necessary measures to ensure the success of the exercise.
Following this, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), through its Election Analysis Centre (EAC), has called for immediate measures to address the lapses in the BVAS mock accreditation ahead of the February 25 and March 11, general elections.
CDD’s Director, Idayat Hassan, made the appeal at the weekend in a statement.
She said that the centre deployed 111 field observers to monitor the mock accreditation exercise, with three observers per state across the 36 states and the FCT.
The mock accreditation exercise, which INEC conducted across 436 PUs, was organised to test the functionality and reliability of BVAS ahead of the general polls.