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Investigation Uncovers New Threats, Plot To Rig 2023 Election Results Through Uploads From Polling Units

Investigation Uncovers New Threats, Plot To Rig 2023 Election Results Through Uploads From Polling Units
November 6, 2022

SaharaReporters has also observed that some provisions have been inserted into the INEC guidelines for the 2023 elections to serve the purpose. 


A plot to rig the results of the 2023 elections that rest largely on the credibility and fidelity of polling unit results has been uncovered by SaharaReporters.

Even though the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and polling unit results will be uploaded to the INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) Result Viewing Portal (IReV), the plan is that Nigerians will not be allowed to the results until after the ward collation officers have collated and validated all the clusters of polling units that constitute a ward.

Multiple and reliable sources in the lCT department of INEC have revealed that a powerful politician has successfully compromised key lCT staff members of INEC not to allow polling units results to be viewed by the public on the INEC result view portal


SaharaReporters has also observed that some provisions have been inserted into the INEC guidelines for the 2023 elections to serve the purpose. The impending threat stands despite the reassurances offered by Professor Mahmood Yakubu to Nigerians and the whole world regarding the BVAS and IReV, the two most important technology inputs to the election, backed by the new Electoral Act.



They will be used but Nigerians will not be allowed to view the uploaded results of polling units until they are validated by collation officers and Registration Area Technical Support (RATECHS) that will be compromised to input fake data at ward collation centres.

SaharaReporters learnt that the new twist is at the instance of an influential politician who is bent on making sure that the polling unit results uploaded to the IReV (results view porter) should not be open to the public to view them until a group of RATECHs, who are to assist ward collation officers validated the polling unit results.

These RATECHs/collation officers, many of whom may be sponsored as ad hoc staff by political actors, have been compromised, hence if they are empowered to validate already declared polling unit results at collation centres before the public can view the results, it amounts to a return to the old way of keeping everyone in the dark while those who have leverage over INEC will fix the results to predetermined outcomes.



On the reason for the sudden change, sources in INEC revealed that it has to do with a compromise at the top level and the explanation to be used as justification is a flimsy claim that just in case there is a mistake on Form EC8A at the polling units, it could be corrected at ward levels that are to be manned by politically vulnerable RATECHs.

According to these sources, that reason is a deception. The source further revealed to SaharaReporters why Nigerians should not buy into the deceit for the following reasons: firstly, the possibility of error at a polling unit during the counting of votes where there are party agents, voters and election observers is highly unlikely and could be easily noted and corrected before all stakeholders than at ward collation centres with limited and reduced numbers of people present where manipulations are more likely?”

According to sources, secondly, ward collation centre is where RATECHs who are lCT experts work, and influential political actors can easily recruit them or their supervising officers to aggregate all polling unit results that could be easily altered. Thirdly, if polling unit results are not allowed to be viewed after they are uploaded at polling units, compromised RATECHs and collation officers at ward level could input additional figures at ward level to upturn the outcome of polling units election results.

Meanwhile, questions have been asked as to why the results from all polling units, the number of accredited voters and scanned (EC8A) can’t be viewed by Nigerians. Similarly, some people have asked why ward collated results and scanned (EC8B) are not uploaded to the public results view porter for transparency of the entire result collation value chain.

As part of the large-scale plan, SaharaReporters found some questionable provisions in INEC 2022 Regulations & Guidelines to be used by presiding officers for the 2023 election to create room for the court to determine the final outcome of the 2023 elections. Such questionable provisions are Rule 19. E(lV) which says a voter should “mark” on the Ballot paper instead of using “thumbprint”. According to the source, marking a ballot paper instead of a thumbprint is a recipe for rigging.

An individual recruited by political actors and given a ballot booklet can use a pen or pencil to mark as many ballot papers as possible.

Besides, if a pen or pencil rather than a thumbprint is allowed, can a forensic exercise be carried out to determine whether it was just an individual that marked a large number of ballots?

SaharaReporters learnt that it is unlikely to detect, unlike fingerprints that a forensic machine can examine on ballot papers and determine whether it was just an individual or a few individuals who put thumbprints on ballot papers.

The question is whether a thumbprint or any mark on the box of a party's logo also represents the intention of a voter insofar as the mark is clearly on the party's logo. Also, there is the additional provision of Rule 20, which provides for a voter that even failed to pass through the five methods of identification for accreditation to be ticked/marked on the same manual register with successful accredited voters.

For those who wonder why this additional leeway is provided by officials of INEC in the guidelines, it should be noted that it is a loophole created by influential politicians using their leverage in INEC to dilute the Electoral Act. This is a recipe to bypass BVAS and claim that it failed.

The more troubling fact also is that, if this is allowed, it will be used to claim votes not recorded or to impute over-voting into the actual votes, thereby creating room for rigging.

Based on SaharaReporters’ investigation, it is not for the “handgun” of compromised politicians, Festus Okoye to deceptively tell Nigerians that BVAS and IReV have come to stay and will be used in the 2023 elections; Nigerians have been very assured of their promised usage.

But according to sources, one of the pertinent and critical questions that INEC needs to publicly answer in light of the uncovered plot is: “Will Nigerians be allowed to view real-time uploaded polling units results and the accredited number of voters on Form EC8A on the portal on Election Day as provided by section 60 (4) and (5)?”

Another point noted by sources is if it is not after being subjected to possible manipulated inputs at ward collation centres that the public, including stakeholders, can access the information.

One of the sources also asked, “Will INEC allow Nigerians to view scanned collated ward results on Form EC8B on the portal? Why should a voter who failed both biometric, facial, and other verification processes be marked on the hard copy of the Election Day register, thereby creating room for many unnecessary manipulations of the accredited voters’ figures?”