‘The Court Restored Nigerians’ Rights,’ Lawyer Supports Temporary Voter Card Ruling
Mathias Emeribe, a legal practitioner, has backed an Abuja Federal High Court ruling ordering the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow the use of temporary voter cards in the March 18 governorship and state assembly elections.
Emeribe described the court’s decision as restoring the rights of Nigerian registered voters on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday.
“After reading the court’s decision, it was clear that what the court did was to restore the right of Nigerians to vote or be voted for provided you have attained the age of 18 because it would be absurd that after going through the rigors of registration, the body in question that is vested with the power and duties to get you registered and issued with the necessary PVC, would come out after all efforts made at even getting the PVC and they are te
“Meanwhile the practical effect of what we have seen on the field is that for you to vote, it is the BVAS itself that will identify you as the authentic owner of that name and the person who actually was registered in that polling unit. As a result, it is absurd for INEC to insist that if you do not have a Permanent Voter Card, you cannot vote,” Emeribe said.
While delivering judgment in a suit filed by two concerned Nigerians seeking to use TVCs in general elections in the absence of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), Justice Obiora Egwuatu stated that the order to allow use of TVCs was made on the grounds that the plaintiffs were duly registered and captured in INEC’s database.
The judge, however, stated that because the suit was not filed in a representative capacity, he was unable to grant prayer three, which was to allow every eligible voter with a TVC to vote.
However, in a swift response to the Abuja High Court ruling, INEC indicated that it intends to appeal the judge’s directive to allow the use of TVCs for elections.
Rotimi Oyekanmi, the INEC Chairman’s Chief Public Secretary (CPS), announced the commission’s intention to approach the appellate court in a statement on Thursday.
The Federal High Court, Abuja Division’s decision today ordering the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to permit two Plaintiffs to cast ballots using their Temporary Voter’s Cards has been served on INEC (TVC).
The statement added, “The Commission is taking immediate procedures to appeal against the judgment of the trial court.