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Echoing the frantic calls by concerned Nigerians for INEC to allow the use of temporary voters card, due to the delay in issuing permanent voters cards; a group has taken the call, a step further. The Society for Advancement and Protection of Public Rights, has applied to the Federal High Court in Abuja to issue an order restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from insisting that only voters with the Permanent Voters’ Cards will be allowed to vote.
Titled “SUIT NO: FHC/ABJ/CS/06/15” filed by Mr Eze Anumnu, seeks an order of the court to compel INEC to allow anyone with a voter’s card, either temporary or permanent, to vote. To do otherwise, the group argued, would amount to dis-enfranchising millions of Nigerians which the group said would result in violence and breakdown of law and order.
The group stated that there was no law that empowered INEC to insist on PVC as the only acceptable card for voting.
On the contrary, the group said that by refusing to allow people with temporary voters cards to vote, INEC is violating sections 77(2) and 117(2) of the Constitution.
Specifically, the group is seeking a declaration that by virtue of sections 77(2) and 117(2) of the Constitution, INEC has no power to deprive any Nigerian, who is eligible to vote ?the chance to vote on the grounds of non possession of a PVC.
It also asked the court to declare that any provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 or any INEC Electoral Guidelines, which prescribes the use of a card reader machine for screening voters card, which has the effect of preventing a registered voter to vote, is beyond the powers of INEC and therefore unconstitutional.
The court is also called upon to hold that the “Continuous Voters Registration ?being carried out by INEC now less than 60 days to the 2015 elections is unconstitutional, illegal, ineffectual and unlawful for being in direct contravention of Section 9(5) of the Electoral Act.
“That by virtue of Sections 9(5) and 10(4) of the Electoral Act, the current Voters Register to be used for the 2015 general elections is the Register existing, at least 60days to the commencement of the 2015 elections as notified by INEC pursuant to Section 30(1) of the Electoral Act.”
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