Former National Vice President, National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, Comrade George Turnah and five others have dragged INEC to Court, seeking an order compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC not to conduct the 2015 general elections using the Permanent Voters Card, PVC and the card reading machine.
Filing the suit before the Federal High Court Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, the plaintiffs, which include Barrister George Turner, Ebis Orubebe, Hon Dan Etai, Barrister Agorodi Awudumapu and Barrister Nelson Abali, dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice sought an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the respondents from conducting the forthcoming general elections scheduled for March 28 and April 11 with the use of the permanent voters card and the card reading machine as the only medium for voting pending the determination of the substantive suit.
In the affidavit deposed to by the plaintiffs in support of the motion, they argued that in the two most recent elections conducted by the first respondent (INEC) in Osun and Ekiti states, the PVCs and card reading machine were not used, rather, the temporary voters card.
They also argued that the distribution of the PVCs has been very slow and they believe that with the slowness of the process, they doubt whether INEC would achieve substantial distribution of the PVCs nationwide before the election.
They further said that the use of the card reader is alien to the 1999 Constitution as amended and the 2010 Electoral Act.
They said that they were worried that unless a card reader confirms voter’s card, the holder cannot use same to vote and to them, this may be a tactical way to disenfranchise many voters.
They also argued that while INEC has the power to conduct elections, it does not have powers to introduce processes and procedures unknown to the electoral law.
They claimed that INEC has not put the card readers to use before to ascertain the efficacy and efficiency of the machines.
They alleged that INEC has nothing to lose or suffer should the court grant their application restraining it and that if INEC goes ahead to insist on using the card reading machines and the PVCs, many Nigerians will be disenfranchised.
The presiding judge ruled that the respondents be put on notice and adjourned the matter for hearing to March 19th 2015.
Source: Nigerian Pilot


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