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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

INEC to appeal ruling against judgment on use of Temporary Voter Cards

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will appeal the court judgment that asked the commission to accept the use of the Temporary Voter’s Card (TVC) in this year’s general election.

The Commission made this known in a tweet on its verified  Twitter handle @inecnigeria on Thursday.

The post reads, “INEC has been served a copy of the judgment delivered today (yesterday) by the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, which ordered it to allow two plaintiffs to vote with their Temporary Voter’s Card (TVC).

“The commission is taking immediate steps to appeal against the judgment of the trial court.”

Daily Trust reports that the Federal High Court in Abuja had ordered the INEC to allow the use of TVC in the March 18 governorship and House of Assembly election.

Justice Obiora Egwuatu gave the order while delivering judgment on Thursday in a suit filed by two aggrieved Nigerians who sought the use of TVCs in this year’s general election in the absence of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

Justice Egwuatu said the order was made on the grounds that the plaintiffs were duly registered and captured in INEC’s database.

“An order is made compelling the defendant (INEC) to allow the plaintiffs to vote, using their Temporary Voter Cards issued by the defendant, the plaintiffs having been duly captured in the National Register of Voter’s database.

“A declaration is made by this court that the plaintiffs, having fulfilled all necessary legal requirements to register and having consequently been captured in the defendant’s (INEC’s) central database and manual, printed paper-based record or hard copy format of the defendant’s maintained Register of Voters, the plaintiffs are entitled to vote using their Temporary Voter’s Cards in the forthcoming 2023 general election,” he said.

The judge said he was unable to grant Prayer Three, which was to allow every eligible voter with a TVC to vote because the suit was not filed in a representative capacity.

“This suit, having not been brought in a representative capacity, I find myself unable to grant any relief pursuant to prayer three of the plaintiffs’ application,” Justice Aneke said.

The court also held that there was no portion of the law, including the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act, that states that it is only the PVCs that could be used.

He added that the law under Section 47 provides for a voter’s card, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

Addressing reporters, counsel to the plaintiffs, Mr. Victor Opatola said the judgment was a victory for all Nigerians who suffered to get registered to vote, were duly registered, but due to no fault of theirs, could not get their PVCs before the election.

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