The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has appealed the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which allowed one Kofoworola Olusegun and Wilson A. to vote in the 2023 governorship and state assembly elections with their temporary voter cards.
Recall that the plaintiffs had argued before the FHC that since their data were captured on INEC’s database and could be read by the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) devices using the temporary voter cards, they ought not to be disenfranchised from voting at the forthcoming governorship and state assembly elections.
They sought an order of court granting leave to vote with their Temporary Voters Cards, TVC, instead of the Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).
Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the lower court had agreed with them, saying on March 9 that “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.”
But INEC’s lawyer, Taminu Inuwa, SAN, has filed an appeal against the judgment.
Among other things, he sought for “an order of injunction against execution of the judgement delivered 9th March 2023, directing the Applicant to allow the Plaintiffs/Respondents to use the Temporary Voter Cards in lieu of the Permanent Voter Cards for the 2023 general election.”
Inuwa maintained that INEC guidelines recommend only Permanent Voters Cards for election purposes.
“The whole essence of the Manual & Guidelines was defeated by the decision of the trial court when it embarked on judicial legislation and jettisoned the relevance and import of the said Manual & Guidelines which prescribed in detail, accreditation and voting procedure with the exclusive use of PVCs,” he said.
The Appellate Court will look at the case on its merit in line with relevant laws.