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Help investigate EC’s missing BVR kits – NDC to Bagbin

Source The Ghana Report

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has called on the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, to investigate the Electoral Commission’s (EC) unaccounted Biometric Verification Devices (BVDs) and parts of Biometric Verification Registration Kits to ensure that the 2024 general elections are free and fair.

The call comes on the back of the EC’s confirmation that five laptops have been stolen after a routine check of its equipment.

In a press statement from the General Secretary of the NDC, Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, the party said, “It is our hope that with the collaboration of the General Secretary of the NDC and the minority caucus in parliament, you will thoroughly investigate the matter to bring a closure to the matter and to ensure a free, fair and transparent election in December 2024.”

The party disclosed that after the minority leader, Cassiel Ato Forson, raised concerns over missing BVDs in parliament, the Functional Executive Committee (FEC) of the NDC decided to delve deeper into the matter.

“FEC’s involvement in the fray and the subsequent admission by the EC Chairperson at the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting on April 9, 2024 that the biometric equipment was indeed stolen, culminated in a major press conference by the party on April 15, 2024,” the NDC said.

The statement added that on April 16, “FEC again deliberated extensively on the missing equipment, especially on the effect this could have on the December general elections.”

The NDC said the party’s FEC decided to refer the matter to the speaker and to respectfully request his assistance in further probing the matter.

Background

The Minority in Parliament raised concerns about the stolen BVD machines on Tuesday, March 19, with Minority Leader Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson calling upon the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Police Service to promptly investigate the matter.

According to the minority, the missing biometric devices were meant for the registration and verification of voters by the Electoral Commission ahead of its limited voter registration exercise.

Responding to these claims, the Deputy Chairman of the EC in charge of Operations, Samuel Tettey clarified that all biometric devices are securely stored, affirming the commission’s readiness for the December polls.

He, however, emphasized that five laptops had been stolen from their custody.

“For clarification, the voter registration kits which comprise a laptop, camera, scanner, and printer are entirely separate from the commission’s registration data systems and are incapable of manipulating election outcomes as suggested. These kits though crucial for registration require specific activation to function accordingly. Without such activation, they serve no purpose beyond their component as a laptop, camera, scanner, or printer. What this means is that they are of no value beyond what they were manufactured to be.

“Similarly, the stolen laptops cannot be utilized for voter verification or registration. It remains just a laptop. As such they cannot be used to compromise our systems in undermining the credibility of the incoming elections in December 2024. The integrity of our systems and elections remains intact.

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