Tuesday, 17 March 2015

100 percent PVC distribution is a constitutional requirement

PVCThis piece has nothing against Jega as a person or an umpire but is merely a bonafide legal commentary on his insistence that the only voters he will allow to vote are those possessing their PVC. That is well and good; but in such event, Jega must also be mindful of the following provisions of the law:

First, the PVC regime is not mandated by the Constitution or even the Electoral Act. What the law clearly requires is simple registration. Jega is the one that is creating this unlawful and disagreeable situation of upgrading this notion of PVC to such an infamous extent that is now threatening the stability and good order of Nigeria. To be sure, instead of these runarounds, to vote just requires you to be a Nigerian of at least eighteen years of age; and then stepping up to any designated INEC centre to register. Once you have done that, you have done your part, preparatory to ultimately performing your civic rights to vote and be voted for. Conversely, INEC has a legal duty to oblige you with due registration, and then publish your name in the voters register thirty days to the date of the pertinent election. It is that simple and clear, as intended by our laws; yet, Mr Jega has, for reasons best known to him, single-handedly brought a whole nation to infamy by introducing these burdensome rules of his own.

So, what Nigerians are now dealing with is Jega virtually legislating that you won’t be allowed to vote unless you present a PVC. Nonetheless, despite its pitfalls, failed tests, discriminatory distributions, warts and all, Nigerians now appear helpless and verged on playing along with this patent illegality. But shouldn’t that be on the proviso that Mr Jega must demonstrate, before the elections, that he has achieved hundred percent PVC distribution? Hell, yes, because it is only after Jega has achieved his hundred percent that it might be reasonable to then shift the burden of collection to the voter. If, however, before the elections, Jega fails to achieve hundred percent PVC distribution, he must postpone the elections to allow time for that, otherwise any election result issuing from such willful disenfranchisement of voters will surely be invalidated by the courts for failing the basic constitutional muster. Alternatively, Jega can save the nation all these troubles by simply abiding with what the black-letter law says, and that is: allow all registered voters to vote. Read More...

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