Court refuses application to stop INEC from use of card readers

A Federal High Court in Abuja has refused an application filed by four political parties seeking to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission from using electronic card readers in the coming general elections.

The parties are Alliance for Democracy, United Democratic Party, Allied Congress Party of Nigeria and Action Alliance.

The presidential and national assembly elections hold on March 28 while those of governorship and State Houses of Assembly come up April 11.

The parties filed the application through their counsel, Alex Iziyon, and two others, all Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SAN.

Mr. Iziyon told the court that the plan to use the card readers contravened provisions of the 1999 Constitution and Electoral Act.

He contended that the Commission lacked the power to introduce card readers at this point since it is not specifically provided for in Nigerian laws.

Mr. Iziyon told the court that the National Assembly enacted the Electoral Act to govern the conduct of polls in the country and that while the Act is the head, the INEC is the body of the Nigeria’s electoral process.

He further contended that the body could not be important than the head.

The lawyer also said that Section 52 (1) of the Act prohibited electronic voting, saying the commission is violating the law by introducing “electronic voter’s card reader”.

“My lord, this is what brought us to this court,” Mr. Iziyon said. “INEC wants Nigerian voters to subject themselves to electronic voter card reader, an electronic component which is expressly prohibited. “Anything to do with electronic magnetic capturing properties cannot be allowed in the conduct of the election.”

Mr. Iziyon asked Justice Adeniyi Ademola to stop INEC from implementing, commencing or directing the use of card readers for the elections, pending the determination of the suit.

He also asked the court to bridge the time within which the commission would file a response in view of the nature of the case which, according to him, had a robust electoral jurisprudence.

While relying on a suit decided in 2003 by a Federal High Court in Ebonyi Division, he argued that the court nullified the local government election conducted in the state because the state Independent Election Commission used the open ballot system in conducting the conducting the election, contrary to the provision of the Electoral Act.

Mr. Iziyon therefore said the card reader could not take the place of accreditation recognised by the Act.

Mr. Ademola, in his ruling on the exparte motion, said although the case was triable, the four parties, which had legal rights, would not suffer any irreparable harm if the commission was offered the opportunity to be heard before interim orders being sought was granted.

Although the judge refused to make any interim orders against INEC on the use of card readers, he abridged the time for the electoral body to file its response.

He abridged the time to four days from the day the commission received the court papers.

Mr. Ademola adjourned the matter to March 10 to hear the substantive motion on notice.


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  • Omo Naija

    We must use card readers and PVC fot this election, kill yourselves if you don’t want it. No rigging .

  • Wähala

    A SAN who does not know the difference between electronic voting and electronic accreditation is not worth the wig on his empty inSANe head. The Constitutional ban on electronic voting is for instance, slotting your PVC into an ATM-like machine and voting for candidates of choice; while electronic verification makes it simply impossible to vote twice once your PVC has been scanned once at a polling station. How is that rocket science if those ragheads calling themselves SANs are not being dubious and acting out a silly script? No wonder a lawyer today’s Nigeria communicate in simple English, like a PhD who asks, “Wia ris Gworza sef?” in official setting. Those satellite PDP goon Parties should forget it, Nigerians paid for card readers which were used in Ghana and other countries to effect change from the rigging of entrenched criminal cabals masking as political parties.

    • egoigwe

      Bros, this is what the man said “INEC wants Nigerian voters to subject themselves to electronic voter
      card reader, an electronic component which is expressly prohibited. Anything to do with electronic magnetic capturing properties cannot be
      allowed in the conduct of the election.” I don’t think his issue is about voting or verification per sec but the use of any electronic component.

      • Wähala

        Even the §52 (1) the fake lawyer quoted bans “electronic voting” and nothing more. PVC’s and computers have to do with “electronic magnetic capturing properties” thus, the Iziyon clown is only dragging us back to stone age. If we’re to adhere strictly to Constitutional provisions, legal pads will be needed to write down every voter’s name and chalks and boards will be required to collate the ballots. Jega appeared before the Senate and even David Mark and others who made the electoral laws did not find against Jega using the rig-proof cards to verify prospective voters and ensure the elections are fair & free. Abegi, go-sitdon, I don’t have time nor the patience for silly banters right now.

        • egoigwe

          But of course we have to adhere strictly to constitutional provisions, those provisions are the rules of the game. Anything short of this adherence will amount to making up rules for the game to suit another’s whims and caprices. The simple truth is all electronic devices or components are unknown to our constitution and not recognized by it. The Electoral Act as amended does not offer Jega the cover to impose his choice of unconstitutional voting systems on Nigerians. Talking about silly banters, it is those who advocate the installation of an unconstitutional system that banter the silly and ridiculous.

          • Wähala

            Ego,
            Since when did Dumbo start adhering strictly by the Constitution of Nigeria? Has he declared his assets according to the tenets of the Constitution? That aside, even if I were to marry your idea, television, computers, video recordings of elections would be banned since they employ electronic capturing of the electoral process. The ban is on “voting” via electronic devices and nothing more… Go-Sitdon!

    • Yusuf

      very silly case indeed. lawyers without common sense

  • dafe

    Attahiru Jega is incompetent and it shows

    There may be some other un-disclosed reasons but Jega’s INCOMPETENCE must rank high.
    Professor Jega publicly lied in the first week of February that he was fully ready for the polls.
    Whereas, up till today Jega has not printed, to talk of distribute, over one million voter cards.
    And till today 25% of all voter cards printed have not been distributed or collected by voters.
    Professor Attahiru Jega is administratively incompetent and it shows. I think Jega must go!

    • eddy

      And u should change ur name from dafe to daft.

    • Wähala

      What you think doesn’t matter because you’re a goddamn liar. As of today, over 80% of PVC’s have been distributed, you’re just another PDpig spreading falsehood. With all the noise by your junkie cum vuvuzela about Dumbo’s readiness to confront Buhari at the polls, why are the PDP running helter-skelter trying to rig their way back to power? They’re gone any time elections are held in Nigeria so, it’s better you start gathering crumbs for rainy days. Edyiot.

      • AMINU

        Beside what i expected from the political parties especially the desperate one(PDP) is to mobilizes those that deliberately, consciously & unpatriotically refused to collect their PVC’s to do so which goes to show FFK absconded from his real job and concentrated on personal attacks on APC leaders.

    • otapete

      Say what you will. Jonathan will go ,he will just have to decide if it is peacefully or by force. We give the opportunity to choose.

    • Doffi Atoshi

      Daft with no brains!

      • John

        He is one of looming PDP fools roving around to see how they can steal another election this time around but the game us up for them. Many days for the thief and one day for the owner of the house. PDP is as gone as dodo. Nothing will save this criminal cabal from extinction.

    • Olu Ade

      Dafty Dumbo Dunddy Dafe

  • eddy

    Firstly, these parties filing against the use of card readers, who r their candidates? Cos it beats me how parties with little known candidates will go head with trying to stop card readers. Then again this says much about the kind of characters they r fielding.

    Secondly I think pdp should give it a rest… hiding behind lesser parties to carry out their evil plan.

    Thirdly, Jonathan should know that if he fails to win this election, all the money he is throwing around he will eventually answer for it.

    • ije2014

      They’re PDP proxies. Probably have no candidates.

  • Buba

    The headline is misleading, please. The Court took the case up
    but allowed INEC the necessary time to file its defensive papers.

  • Olusola

    I didnt know Alex Iziyon is a member of Suegbe Association of Nigeria (SAN).

  • real

    PDP cronies does not want PVC for election NCOs of card reader but promise to “fight” corruption thru IT! People Deceiving People

  • Sanu

    For a free and fair election remove Professor Attahiru Jega right now.

    • A Aminu

      How will removal of Jega make an impending election free and fair. I take it you are already bias otherwise why not wait until the election holds and then you will know what part of the election is short of being free and fair? From the way you sound, you have already lost the election.

      • John

        You don’t know what the criminal PDP calls free and fair election? The only election where they are allowed to write results as it pleases them. Note that this cult has never won election in the history but only lives on fraudulently manipulating election results. That is why they are after Jega; because he has refused to allow these shameless rouges have their ways this time around.

    • Scatter

      You are shitting bricks bcos PDP rigging no go work abi? Just go and sit down!

    • Arabakpura

      Yes, For a free and credible elections remove JEGA (Jonathan Ebele Goodluck Azikiwe) now!

  • ije2014

    Misleading headline. Case is merely adjourned.

    • triad

      Dumbo……
      “Mr. Ademola, in his ruling on the exparte motion,
      said although the case was triable, the four parties, which had legal rights, would not suffer any irreparable harm if the commission was offered the opportunity to be heard before interim orders being sought was granted.

      Although the judge refused to make any interim orders against INEC on the use of card readers, he abridged the time for the electoral body to file its response”

  • Titi

    People Deceiving People De fear election die

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  • Lanus

    Alex Iziyon the PDP SAN!

  • F.

    Lol. You have to give the PDP marks for creativity. Alex Iziyon, PDP’s lawyer of choice using mushroom parties as a proxy to prosecute this no-PVC battle so the ruling party does not appear to be directly involved. Wonderful. I reiterate that Jonathan’s desperation is what will undo him.

  • abiodun

    For a posperous and bright future for Nigeria, JEGA must go (Jonathan Ebele Goodluck Azikiwe)

  • favourtalk

    All the effort and billions of GEJ cannot stop nigerians from using the right means to vote him out of government. We deserve a better government than this confused and bad leadership of GEJ. We need change

  • shola

    I can only pray these BACK TO THE ANCIENT TIME PARTIES are neither using cell phones nor using any electronic devices. They are for sure the supporters of BOKO HARAM

  • egoigwe

    @Wahala

    Look, don’t keep quivering. This discussion is about electronic devices
    or components that impact directly on the conduct of elections and votes
    delivery. It is not about electronic devices for reportage and
    memorabilia. And it is not even about Jonathan and his adherence to the
    constitution. The questions are simple enough to answer. (1) Are Jega’s
    card readers an electronic device? Yes. (2) Do they or don’t they have
    an effect on the conduct of elections and votes delivery? Again, yes
    they do. (3) Are their usage for elections backed by the laws of our
    land? Nowhere under our constitution have their usage been recognized or
    approved by it. Most importantly, (4) can their usage for the conduct
    of elections be deemed electronic voting? Yes it can and is. I will tell
    you why. Its ability to disqualify voters as ineligible impacts
    directly on votes delivery. Which is to say, it directly affects the
    process of voting by regulating who can and cannot vote. When an
    electronic device or component decides who can and cannot vote by the
    push of a button that device, in effect, firmly controls the voting
    process or the electronic voting.

    Now, lets look to more crucial issues. It is Jega’s
    outfit, INEC, that printed these voters’ cards. He purchased the
    electronic card readers. He distributed the voters’ cards across our
    Federation. How difficult do you think it would be for a compromise INEC
    Chairman to rig these cards? Imagine a scenario where some cards were
    printed without the necessary chips that would make them readable by
    those electronic card readers and then have those cards distributed to
    areas that are political strongholds for one candidate or the other. Are
    we going to be standing in the queue and demanding that operators of
    the card readers prove their workability? Millions could be
    disenfranchised by that act alone. Or on the other hand, imagine were
    those card readers are rigged not to recognize voters’ cards because
    some of them lack the ‘eye’ to see and read these voters’ cards. The
    point I wish for you to consider is that everything electronic can be
    rigged. Electronic devices are not the Holy Grail, their functionality
    are based on inputting. If one inputs garbage, out comes garbage.
    Diebold had demonstrated this beyond fail.