Polls: Why We Can’t Allow Use Of Temporary Voters Card, INEC Tells Court

the Plaintiffs and all members of their class to enable them vote in the forthcoming general election fixed for February to March 2023”.

As well as, “An Order of the Honourable Court directing the Defendant to reprint, distribute and release the Permanent Voters’ Cards of the Plaintiffs and all persons they represent in this suit or otherwise allow them to vote with their old (temporary) voters’ cards or registration slips already issued and released to them by the Defendant the affected persons having been duly registered and captured in the Defendant’s register of voters and or electronic database of registered voters”.

Plaintiffs’ lawyer, Ozoaka, told the court that INEC had lamented that some of its offices were recently attacked, with many PVCs destroyed.

He argued that since the electoral body had already issued temporary voters card/registration slips, persons whose PVCs were affected in the said attacks, should in the event that their voters’ card were not reprinted and collected before the deadline, allowed to participate in the election.

He told the court that INEC previously disclosed that the BVAS could authenticate electorates with the entering of the last six digits of the Voters Identity Number, VIN.

However, INEC, in a counter-affidavit it filed before the court, challenged the competence of the suit, insisting that the legal action was premature, frivolous and speculative.

The electoral body told the court that it has already extended the time within which PVCs could be collected.

While accusing the plaintiffs of failing to supply the court with particulars of the 29million persons they claimed may be disenfranchised, INEC, said the reason it extended the period for PVC collection was that so many fresh ones, especially in areas that were attacked, have been reproduced and ready for collection.

“My lord, it is a mysterious submission that the BVAS use the last 6 digits of VIN. That is totally wrong and not true. In fact, I am hearing it for the first time. Without the PVCs, the BVAS cannot work.

“Even the election will surprise people. There are many innovations that I don’t want to divulge here.

“As far as this suit is concerned, no particulars were provided to show that any PVC was destroyed. They should have waited until the expiration of the time for collection, which is January 29, before filing this suit”, an INEC lawyer submitted.

He, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the suit, adding that the 1st plaintiff failed to attach its Article of Incorporation to show that it has the mandate to embark on such public interest litigation.

Meanwhile, after she had listened to both sides, Justice Binta Nyako, who also narrated how members of her household have been finding it difficult to get their PVCs, adjourned the case till January 30 for judgement.



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