Supreme Court Verdict On Rivers Prove Card Reader Not Final In Election Disputes – PDP Reps
The Supreme Court judgment overruling the card reader as the final determinant in any election dispute has been hailed by members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the House of Representatives.
The PDP Reps’ members were reacting to the apex court’s judgment that validated the April 11 election of Nyesom Wike as governor of Rivers State.
While the Appeal Court and election petitions tribunal annulled the same election on grounds that card reader was not used in majority of the areas where votes were cast coupled with widespread irregularities, the Supreme Court ruled otherwise.
The apex court has said it would give details of how it arrived at the verdict on the Rivers guber poll next month.
The House Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, who addressed some journalists in Abuja yesterday, said that the ruling showed that Nigerians, irrespective of political affiliation, could go to court and get justice.
Ogor said the ruling further proved their argument that the card reader technology used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the 2015 elections need legal backing to become effective.
“There is a strong need for us to appreciate the Supreme Court which is now like the last bus stop in all judicial processes. It is something that I think we need to congratulate the governor for coming out successfully in this trial that the tribunal and the Court of Appeal ruled against him.
“Nevertheless, I think that it goes a long way to show clearly that card reader is not the finality viz-a-vis the provisions of the Electoral Act. Section 49 of the Electoral Act is very clear; it did not make provisions for anything like card reader. I think it is innovative; the concept is outside law itself.
“So, what we need to do as parliament at this particular time is to make sure that this wonderful limitative concept that has its own challenges should be in one way or the other incorporated into the Electoral Act”, he said.
On the letter written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to the National Assembly in which he kicked against the purchase of vehicles for lawmakers, Ogor said he did not want to “join issues with the former president”, but added that “he should realise that these vehicles are meant purely for oversight functions”.
“If he believes we should not carry out oversight functions or probably we should rely on ministries and agencies of government, even when traveling to states to carry out these responsibilities, he is at will to say whatever he wants to say. But I am convinced beyond reasonable doubt that these vehicles are not luxury vehicles; they are utility vehicles at the National Assembly, which we use in carrying out our responsibilities”, the minority leader added.