At about few minutes past ten on the day of the Presidential election, the INEC Chairman, having received several reports from across the country about the inefficiency of the card readers, gave a directive that the card readers should be disregarded and manual accreditation adopted for the rest of the day. However, few days to the governorship election, the same INEC Chairman made it clear that ‘on no condition’ should the card readers be ignored for the gubernatorial election. He even went further to state that where card readers fail, elections should be shifted to the next day. I read the two directives and I got the message clearly.
Apart from that, the card readers had legislative backup as it’s procurement was approved by the National Assembly prior to the election. Let us not forget that the National Assembly is as equal to the supreme court in terms of lawmaking.
The card reader was a perfect constraint on election riggers.
The Nigerian courts (higher courts) by implication and by their judgment has technically rendered the card reader illegal and unconstitutional. This is a shame and an insult on our sensibilities as reasonable people in the age of technology.
To discredit the same card reader which had legislative back-up and by not relying on it as a way of checkmating rigging is the height of judicial irresponsibility. That Supreme Court judgment is retrogressive.
The rigging in Rivers State Governorship election was blatant, provocative and obvious. The evidence of PDP/Wike rigging in that election was overwhelmingly axiomatic and incontrovertible.
Whatever compromise Wike/PDP must have reached with the Abuja people in getting this judgment, is an unfortunate one.
I am disappointed in the Supreme Court Judgment.
NASS should immediately move to correct this anomaly by reviewing our electoral act and ‘officially’ include CARD READER as the ONLY method of accreditation in future elections.