The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has stated that it will challenge a court ruling requiring it to enable two Nigerians to vote in the upcoming governorship and state assembly elections with their temporary voter cards (TVC).
In a lawsuit designated FHC/ABJ/CS/180/2023 and filed on February 8, Kofoworola Olusegun and Wilson Allwell disputed INEC’s claim that only a permanent voter card (PVC) can be used in an election.
Judge Obiora Egwuatu, presiding judge of the federal high court in Abuja, ruled on Thursday that the applicants should be permitted to utilize their TVCs in the lack of PVCs.
Egwuatu found that neither the 1999 constitution nor the electoral act specified that only PVCs could be used for voting, and that alternatively, section 47 of the legislation permitted the use of a voter’s card.
The judge said, “An order is made ordering the defendant (INEC) to permit the plaintiffs to vote using their temporary voter cards supplied by the defendant, the plaintiffs having been duly captured in the national voter registration database.”
“This court declares that the plaintiffs are eligible to vote using their Temporary Voter Cards in the upcoming 2023 general election, having complied with all necessary legal registration requirements and having 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.”
In a statement released on Thursday by INEC’s principal press secretary, Rotimi Oyekanmi, the commission announced its intention to appeal the ruling.
The announcement states, “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been served with a copy of the judgment delivered today by the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, ordering it to enable two plaintiffs to vote using their Temporary Voter’s Cards (TVC).”
“The Commission is taking immediate action to appeal the trial court’s decision.”