Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court Abuja has fixed January 30 for judgment in a suit against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The plaintiff – Barrister Emmanuel Chukwuka and Bruno Okeahialam – is seeking an order compelling INEC to either give registered voters their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), or allow the use of their temporary voter cards or the Voter Identification Number (VIN) during the 2023 general elections.
The suit was filed by a civil society organization on behalf of 29 million registered voters whom they say are about to be disenfranchised in next month’s polls.
The plaintiff is seeking a declaration that all persons who have duly registered with INEC as voters and whose names are contained in the defendant’s register should not be deprived of the right to vote in the forthcoming general elections.
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At the day’s proceedings, the plaintiff said a newspaper publication cited an INEC statement which acknowledged that insecurity and attacks on its offices gave rise to the loss of PVCs in several states.
But counsel to INEC argued that the case of the plaintiff is based on speculation, adding that the Commission had extended the deadline for the collection of PVCs.
He also wondered why the application was filed when PVC collection has not ended.
The presiding judge, Justice Binta Nyako, also agreed it is a very serious matter, as some people in her household cannot and have not collected their PVCs.
She subsequently fixed January 30 for judgement.