Thursday, June 1, 2023


Lawyer to INEC: Obey court order — allow two Nigerians to vote with TVCs

Lawyer to INEC: Obey court order — allow two Nigerians to vote with TVCs
March 16
20:57 2023

Victor Opatola, counsel to two Nigerians granted permission by a court to vote using their temporary voter cards (TVC), says the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) should obey the court order.

The federal high court in Abuja had ordered INEC to allow Kofoworola Olusegun and Wilson Allwell, to use their TVC to vote in the governorship and houses of assembly elections on March 18.

INEC had, however, said it would appeal the judgement.

Speaking with journalists on Thursday, Opatola said in spite of the judgment, INEC was adamant about not allowing his clients to vote.


“As citizens of Nigeria and the world, we believe in the power of democracy and the importance of every voice being heard through their votes,” NAN quoted him as saying.

“In spite of fulfilling all legal requirements, including registering to vote, my clients were denied their permanent voter card (PVC), and INEC has refused to comply with the court’s judgment which compels INEC to allow them to vote using their temporary voter card; in Kofoworola & Anor v. INEC suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/180/2023.”

Opatola said INEC had filed an appeal against the court’s judgment to mislead the public that the judgment was no longer applicable.


“We have only just received their notice of appeal and application for stay of execution of the judgment and we have five days (starting from today) within which to reply to them and be heard in court,” he said.

“It is the law that stay of execution and filing of a notice of appeal does not invalidate the existing judgement of the federal high court in this matter.

“We will respond within time and they would have their day in court to move their motion for stay.”

However, he said INEC was mandated by law to comply with the subsisting judgment of the court until the appellate court decided otherwise.


“It is also trite law, that the judgment of the court is valid until set aside and takes effect immediately upon pronouncement by the court, and that as soon as the court makes the order, that order takes immediate effect,” he said.

“It is a pure travesty of justice that INEC, the very institution charged with the responsibility of ensuring free and fair elections, has deliberately chosen to disenfranchise millions of Nigerians by refusing to issue them their permanent voter’s card.

“This is even after they have fulfilled all legal requirements and have been issued temporary voter’s cards.

“It is unacceptable that INEC, an institution that is meant to serve the people, has become an obstacle to democracy in Nigeria.


“This is not just a violation of the law, it is a violation of the fundamental rights of Nigerian citizens to participate in the democratic process of freely electing their leaders.”



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