A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Waliu Taiwo has initiated a suit against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), at the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, seeking to stop the use of Electronic Card Readers during the general elections.
Specifically, Taiwo in his suit designated FHC/C/CS/296/15 wants, “An order restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from using the card readers during the polls.
The plaintiff who is the party’s candidate for the Ogun West Senatorial District, argued that the Commission’s guidelines which stipulate the use of card readers is unconstitutional and should be nullified.
Taiwo knocked section 12 (c) of the guidelines which states that “In the event that the PVC fails to be read by the Card Reader, the APO (assistant presiding officer)…shall file a report of the incident; inform the voter of the problem and that he/she cannot be accredited; and politely request the voter to leave the polling zone.”
The plaintiff said, “The first time anywhere in the world where a device such as the Card Reader as proposed to be used by INEC would be used to the effect that it supercedes the content of the register of voters properly compiled by the electoral body.”
Also joined as a defendants to the suit is the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN).
According to the Motion on Notice instituted through his lawyer,
Ajibola Oluyede, the plaintiff wants, “An order of interlocutory injunction restraining INEC or its agents from proceeding with its proposed plan to use the card readers for the purpose of determining those who can vote.
“An order directing the commission to comply with the Electoral Act 2010 and the 1999 Constitution by relying only on the voters register and identifying voters with their voter cards.”
Beside, the plaintiff also want the court to, “Nullify Sections 7 (a/b), 8, 10, 12 and 13 of the INEC guidelines which stipulate the use of card readers to determine those who can vote.
“A declaration that (in the light of a community reading of sections 77 (2), 117 (2), 132 (5) and 178 (5) of the 1999 Constitution, along with sections 9 (1), 46 (1)(b), 49, 52 (2) of the Electoral Act, 2011), the INEC guidelines which stipulate the use of electronic card readers for the purpose of determining the entitlement of persons (with voter’s cards whose names are on the register of voters) to exercise their right to vote in the 2015 general elections, are unconstitutional, ultra vires, null, void and a recipe for creating confusion and political instability during or in the aftermath of the general elections.”
The case has not been assigned to any judge.