2023: Why I Seek Attachment of Photograph On INEC Ballot Papers-Ebonyi LP Reps Candidate

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From Nwogha Ndubuisi, Abakaliki

Ahead of 2023 general elections, the Labour party’s candidate of Abakaliki/Izzi Federal Constituency, Dr Ezeh Emmanuel has in federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki on Tuesday asked Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to capture candidate’s photograph alongside party logo on their ballot papers.

The plaintiff in a suit marked no.FHC/Ai/CS/194/2022 as delivered by Justice Fatun Odohi Riman, requested the Electoral body to include party logo and candidate’s photograph for easy identification of candidates especially by illiterate electorates at the hinterlands.

Addressing Journalists in Abakaliki , Counsel to the Labour party’s House of Representatives candidate for Abakaliki/Izzi Federal Constituency, Barr. Steve Nwankwo Esq explained that his client’s demand is due to the fact that majority of the electorates are uneducated

“I hold a brief of Barr Luke Nkwegu Esq in this matter for a client seeking that necessary steps be taken to enable the rural dwellers who are majorly uneducated to know who they are voting for.

“He’s requesting for the attachment of photograph of contestants alongside party’s logo in the ballot papers just like the plaintiff who’s a contestant in the 2023 general election, if you attach his photo on the ballot paper will help the old men, women and uneducated youths to know who their choice candidates and vote appropriately.

“And today, we have filed our processes and serve the same to the defendant being INEC, and the matter came up today for hearing but unfortunately, INEC has not filed their processes so that matters will be properly joined.

Nwankwo noted that the request is a pre-election matter and could be effected by the Independent National Electoral Commission and prayed that the court grants the demand as to ensure that anomalies confronting masses voting unknown candidates during election is corrected.

Speaking, the coordinator Center for Media Enhancement and Ebonyi state chairman, Coalition of NGOs, Barr Iduma Iduma described the matter as a welcome development.

Barr Iduma noted that if the court grants the request,it would help strengthen democracy in the country, and added that the photograph alongside party logo would help smooth process of electioneering as voters would easily identify their choice candidates.

He appealed the court to see reasons in compelling the electoral body to take necessary action knowing that the matter is coming at the right time when Nigerians are clamouring for transparency in the electoral process.

He enjoined all other Non Governmental organizations to support the advocacy as that would go along way to correct anomalies in the country’s electoral system.

Also, the Ebonyi State Secretary Committee for the Human Rights Defense, Comrade Onyibe Jeremiah stated that granting the request by the court would serve as another landmark achievement on the part of INEC as the system would enhance democracy in line with the new electoral law (as amended).

He applauded Dr Ezeh for the initiative and enjoined every Nigerians to support for the actualization of the demand as that would help stabilize democracy in the country.

Meanwhile, the matter has been adjourned further to 4th day of October, 2022 for hearing.