Court Strikes Out Anti-PVC Suit

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday struck out a suit filed by a group, Society for Advancement and Protection of Public Rights, seeking an order to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission from exclusively using the Permanent Voter Card for the conduct of the forthcoming general elections.

Justice Abdulkadir Abdul-Kafarati struck out the suit following the application of discontinuance filed by the plaintiff.

Meanwhile, the plaintiff had since filed another suit before Justice Gabriel Kolawole opposing the use of the card reader machine for the forthcoming polls, rescheduled to hold on March 28 and April 11, 2015.

Before the Wednesday’s development, the court had on February 22, 2015, granted the separate applications by the All Progressives Congress; its presidential candidate, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.); Peoples Democratic Party and the Fiscal and Civil Rights Enlightenment Foundation, to be joined as defendants in the suit.

The suit with number, FHC/ABJ/CS/06/2015, had the INEC and the Attorney-General of the Federation as the original defendants.

The plaintiff’s counsel, Mr. Olatunji Salawu, said the withdrawn suit had been overtaken by events given the wider distribution of the PVC.

Justice Kolawole had, also on March 6 in the plaintiff’s fresh suit, FHC/ABJ/CS/06/2015, granted the prayers of the PDP and the APC as defendants.

The plaintiff hinged its prayers on the grounds that the use of the card readers was likely to lead to the disenfranchisement of eligible voters.

He argued that since INEC had not engaged in trial application of the PVC and card readers, the effectiveness of the machine could not be guaranteed.

The SAPPR wanted the court to, among others, direct INEC to revert to the use of Temporary Voter Cards, which it said, had been tested during previous elections.

There are now two reported pending suits challenging the use of card reader machine for the conduct of the general elections at the Federal High Court in Abuja, with the other filed by three political parties before Justice Adeniyi Ademola.

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