The court order requesting that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) approve the use of the Temporary Voter’s Card (TVC) in this year’s general election will be appealed, according to INEC.
This was contained in a tweet via its verified handle @inecnigeria, the commission said: “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.”
The Federal High Court in Abuja had ordered the electoral umpire to allow the use of TVC in the coming March 18 governorship and House of Assembly elections.
Yesterday, Judge Obiora Egwuatu issued the ruling in a case brought by two Nigerians who were dissatisfied with the use of permanent voter cards in this year’s general election and sought to utilize TVCs instead (PVCs).
The order was made on the grounds that the plaintiffs were duly registered and captured in INEC’s database, according to the judge.
“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.
However, because the lawsuit was not brought in a representative capacity, the judge stated that he was unable to fulfill Request Three, which was to allow every qualified voter with a TVC to cast a ballot.
“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.
Additionally, the court ruled that no part of the law—including the Election Act and the 1999 Constitution—states that only PVCs may be utilized.