The simplest you can get it.

Relief is what a litigant asks a court to do for him or her.

Let's focus on NDC's two reliefs.

Relief One:

The Supreme Court must rule that the EC cannot create a new register, but can only revise the existing one.

Relief 2:

If the Supreme Court fails to give the NDC what it has asked for in 1, and rules rather that the EC has the power to compile a new register, then the Court must rule also that the EC cannot leave the current voter ID cards out of the requirements for registration for the new register.

So what happened in court?

Today in court, the Court asked the lawyer for NDC to choose just one of the two requests (reliefs) because it is not proper for Counsel to ask for "either" relief 1 "or in the alternative" relief 2.

Is that actually the law?

Actually, there is no rule that I know of, which bars this nature of reliefs from the Supreme Court or any other court. So it is not really the law.

Then Why did the Court boxed NDC's Counsel to that Corner?

At the Supreme Court, the Court is the master of its own procedures as long as it is its view that such procedures would lead to speedy resolution of disputes. As a result, the Court may order litigants to do as the Court deems necessary. It is like some kind of discretionary procedures. *In a highly suspicious environment such ours, these discretionary powers give room for abuse and bias, I think. Don't they?*

Pursuant to the order of the Court, NDC's lawyer chose, wisely, *relief 2,* which asks the Court to order the EC to accept the current voter ID Card as a primary requirement for registration as a voter, and consequently abandoned relief 1, which asks the Court to stop the EC from compiling a new register. In effect, NDC is no longer challenging in court, the EC's authority to compile a new register. The Supreme Court made the party to drop that relief.

In my opinion, the Court was not fair to NDC at all. The Court could have conveniently entertained the alternative reliefs without hustle.

If *relief 1* is granted by ruling that the EC cannot compile a new register, *relief 2* becomes moot or redundant. The Court shall not spend any time at all on it.

If on the other hand, the Court denies relief 1 by ruling that the EC can go ahead and compile the new register, that is only when the Court must also rule on relief 2 to determine whether the EC must accept the current voter ID cards as a requirement for the new registration or not.

I do not see why the Court did not choose the latter procedure but rather the former. The Court's decision seems somehow controversial when one also considers that the Court had earlier asked the EC to provide (additional) legal arguments on an issue that should have already been addressed, the Court's decision muddies the waters.

This is just for clarity, and a little of my opinion on the issue.

Eric ƉELANYO Aliƒo