Ahead of the 2019 general elections, Hope Democratic Party, HDP, has dragged the independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, before a federal high court in Abuja, asking for an order to compel the electoral body to adopt electronic voting system fully for the 2019 polls.
The party also prayed for another order of mandamus against the National Assembly to compel it to initiate and pass laws that would prohibit politically motivated violence and deaths during electioneering process in the country.
In the court action, the party is contending that unless INEC was compelled to adopt the e-voting system, the human errors in voting, vote collations, counting and vote stealing would continue to characterise elections in the country.
The originating summons issued against INEC and three others was filed by a counsel, Mr. Iji Emmanuel, on behalf of the party.
In the summon marked FHC/ABJ/CS/617/2016, the party in the alternative prayed the court to restrain or prohibit INEC from planning or conducting any election until it had fully adopted the electronic voting system in compliance with the Electoral Act 2015.
Other defendants in the suit are the National Assembly, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, as well as the chairman, National Assembly Constitution Review Committee.
HDP in the suit asked the Federal High Court for another order of mandamus to compel the National Assembly to initiate laws that would in practical terms bar candidates and sponsors involved in election violence from participating in elections.
The party among others asked the court to resolve “whether the constitutionally provided duty of the National Assembly to enact laws for peace, order and good governance under section 4 of the 1999 constitution does not place a duty or review the electoral laws to provide that politically motivated deaths at elections must result in the prohibition and barring of identified sponsors and candidates at such elections to entrench a culture of peaceful elections in Nigeria”.
“…whether by virtue of the amended Electoral Act 2015 granting the use of other devices for election, the defendants are not under the duty and owe any obligation and or compunction in the circumstances of our electoral woes and experiences of adopt in full for all future election henceforth, electronic voting system to check and or eliminate human errors in voting, vote collations, counting an vote stealing all such identified electoral vices resulting to politically motivated violence and deaths”.
“…whether the 2nd Defendant are not under a duty in the performances and exercise of its powers as constitutionally provided and the Electoral Acts 2010 and advise of the AGF to make public its reports, findings and initiate and implement the sanction of possible proscription against major political parties and defaulters/culprits reportedly engaged in gross breach of the law limiting campaign funds to restore sanctity and orderliness at electioneering campaign in Nigeria in the light of the national embarrassment over the revelations of the arm funds diversions and the fuel subsidy scandals running into looted and diverted trillions of naira deployed for the funding of 2011 and 2015 presidential elections”.
In a 26 paragraph affidavit in support of the originating summon, the plaintiff claimed “…that the recurrent politically motivated deaths in the land over electoral frauds and malpractices and the ‘win at all cost’ syndrome by political actors without any reprimand or sanctions of any kind by the INEC and AGF in our political climate and background possess danger and stunts National Development”.
“The electronic voting system as already passed into law in the 2015 Amended Electoral laws require to be implemented to benefit all Nigeria in line with International Best Electoral practices.
“That the laws in the land have been grossly violated without the appropriate intervention by bodies changed with such duties including the defendants in this case to the detriment of the Plaintiff.
“That the Justice of this case require a due interpretation and construction of the sections of the relevant statues and laws to protect, and enforce the due observation and compliance to the letters of the laws and restore the citizenry rights to good governance and rule of law”.

READ ALSO  Singer Demi Lovato sued for copyright infringement