Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
A legal practitioner, Deji Enisenyin, has dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the Federal High Court in Abeokuta, Ogun State, over the failure of the electoral body to produce his Permanent Voters Card (PVC).
The suit, FHC/AB/CS/14/19, filed on January 23 and whose hearing is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, the Abeokuta-based lawyer had sought an Order of Mandamus compelling the respondent to issue him and other eligible voters with their PVCs for the purpose of contesting, voting or being voted for in any election to be conducted by INEC.
The applicant had also sought a declaration, among others, that the respondent has no discretion to exercise in registering and/or issuing PVC to him and other eligible voters that have registered with the respondent for the purpose of contesting to vote and be voted for in any election.
In a 38-paragraph affidavit in support of his application for an order of mandamus, Enisenyin, said his name was contained in the register of voters but despite that, they had not made his PVC available to him.
The applicant said sometime in 2011, he registered with the INEC as an eligible Nigerian to contest the gubernatorial election in Ogun State and to vote and be voted.
He stated that he was subsequently issued with a temporary voters card with identification number AAAAAAAAAA295782415.
The applicant added that after the 2011 elections, INEC jettisoned the temporary voter’s card and started issuing the PVCs but failed to produce his own PVC since 2014 that he had been making efforts to obtain it.
“Information at my disposal reveals that all voters card with Voters Identification Number VIN:-AAAAAAAAAA starting the number were not being processed for Permanent Voter’s Card and the VIN number on my temporary voter’s card issued by the Respondent has AAAAAAAAAA starting the number.
“I know for a fact that by virtue of Section 10 of the Election Registration Act 1991 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, the respondent has the statutory responsibility, duty and function to register and/or allow the applicant to contest, vote and be voted for.
“The applicant has the legal competence to invoke the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court in this matter to compel the respondent to discharge her legal and constitutional duties which the respondent owes by the virtue of her office and existence,” he said.
The legal practitioner further argued that the failure of INEC to produce his PVC will disenfranchise him and millions of eligible voters.
He, therefore, asked the court to determine whether the respondent, its agents and servants were empowered by the 1999 Constitution or any other law to use her discretion in disenfranchising an eligible citizen or eligible voters from exercising their right of vote.
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