Court clears 2 Nigerians without PVCs to vote
Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow two voters to use Temporary Voter Cards (TVCs) in the March 18 governorship and state houses of assembly elections.
The court made the order in its judgement in a suit filed by two aggrieved Nigerians seeking the use of TVCs in the general election in the absence of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
Justice Egwuatu said that 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 Cards in the forthcoming 2023 General Election,” the judge said.
The judge, however, said that 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.
He held, “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.”
The court held that there was no portion of the law, both the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act that states that it is only PVCs that could be used, but that the law under Section 47 provided for a voter’s card.