The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will appeal a court order asking it to allow two Nigerians to vote with their temporary voter cards (TVC) in the coming governorship and state assembly elections.
Kofoworola Olusegun and Wilson Allwell, in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/180/2023 and filed on February 8, had challenged INEC on the position that only a permanent voter card (PVC) can be used in an election.
Delivering judgment on Thursday, Justice Obiora Egwuatu, presiding judge of the federal high court in Abuja, said the applicants should be allowed to use their TVCs in the absence of the PVCs.
Egwuatu determined that neither the 1999 constitution nor the electoral act contained any language stipulating that only PVCs could be used for voting and that instead, section 47 of the statute allowed for the use of a voter’s card.
“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,” the judge held.
“This court makes a declaration 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.”
Reacting in a statement on Thursday by Rotimi Oyekanmi, chief press secretary to the INEC chairman, the commission said it would appeal the judgement.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been served a copy of the judgement delivered today by the Federal High Court, Abuja Division which ordered it to allow two Plaintiffs to vote with their Temporary Voter’s Card (TVC),” the statement reads.
“The Commission is taking immediate steps to appeal against the judgement of the trial court.”