Adah Obekpa, a medical doctor living in the United States, and his company, Renaissance Network Africa (RNA), have filed a lawsuit against the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) and the federal government.
The plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the electoral umpire and the government for allegedly failing to recognize them as the creators of the e-voting system used during elections.
On March 21, the complaint was filed in the Abuja Federal High Court.
The plaintiffs are asking the court in the FHC/ABJ/CS/391/2023 action for an order directing the defendants to pay N77 billion in compensation and an additional N500 million in damages for allegedly using their invention without giving credit.
In the statement of claim, the 1st plaintiff (Obekpa) avered that “he and his team which includes the 2nd plaintiff came up with an innovative and novel I-voting system that will ensure free, fair and credible elections for sustainable democracy in Nigeria as far back as 2010.”
He claimed that the “I-voting system proposal was conceived by him to ensure that valid votes cast in any elections in Nigeria are not altered or eliminated from the final tally, while invalid votes are also not allowed or counted in the final tally by unscrupulous elements who aid desperate politicians to rig elections.”
Obekpa stated that he traveled to Nigeria to meet with former INEC chairman Atahiru Jega, and that they discussed his plan.
The plaintiffs claim to have used both financial and human resources to develop and construct the I-voting concept for INEC in 2010.
They say that their idea has been given the names BVAS and IREV.
“The plaintiffs aver that they retain the exclusive and assignable legal right to the I-voting proposal to INEC document as the originators of the same.”
“It is averred by the plaintiffs that the 1st defendant deliberately suppressed the I-voting proposal which they submitted to it by not reaching out to them in other to take sole credit for the same.”
Consequently, they are praying to the court for a declaration that the I-voting proposal is the same as the BVAS and IREV.
They also want the court to direct the federal government “to publicly recognize and acknowledge the plaintiffs and their team who were involved in the preparation and design of the I-voting proposal to the 1st defendant since 2010.”