Nigerians that were yet to obtain their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), so as to be able to cast their votes during upcoming general election, may not need that should the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja overruled the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) stance that electorate must possess PVC before been granted access to perform his civic duties.
On the case before the court, it has fixed January 30 for judgment on a suit brought against INEC on the use of PVCs as the only criteria for voting in the country.
The case would be determined by Justice Binta Nyako who fixed the date for the ruling expected to determine if the electorate could vote during the 2023 general elections with their temporary voter cards or the Voter Identification Number (VIN).
The plaintiff, Emmanuel Chukwuka and Bruno Okeahialam – is seeking an order compelling INEC to either give registered voters their PVCs, or allow Nigerians with temporary voter cards or the Voter Identification Number (VIN) to cast their votes for any preferred candidate vying during the poll.
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.
At the day’s proceedings, the plaintiff said a newspaper publication cited an INEC statement that 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 the PVC collection has not ended across the country especially with the one-week extension.
Nyako, who also agreed it is a very serious matter, stated that some people in her household cannot and have not collected their PVCs, an indications that they may be disenfranchised. She subsequently fixed January 30 for judgement.