A group of lawyers led by constitutional lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), and his legal counterpart, Abubakar Sani, have dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before a Federal High Court in Abuja, demanding an extension of the continuous voter’s registration till November 27, which they argue, is 90 days before the 2023 general election.

In the suit marked FHC/ ABJ/CS/1335/2022, Ozekhome and Sani prayed the court to compel INEC to extend the registration exercise beyond July 31, 2022, which they said, is more than six months to the general election. 

They said millions of eligible Nigerians and would be disenfranchised if there was no extension of the registration window. 

The plaintiffs said by ending the voters’ registration on July 31, the electoral body contravened clear provisions of Sections 9(6); 10(1) and 12(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, which stipulates a period of 90 days to the next election before the stoppage of the exercise.

According to them, many Nigerians will still attain the voting age of 18 years between July 31, 2022 and November 27, which will be exactly 90 days to the election and that they stand disenfranchised if INEC’s termination of the registration stands. 

Among other posers, the plaintiffs are asking the court to determine “Whether having regard to the combined provisions of sections 9(6) and 10(1) of the Electoral Act, 2022, which mandate the defendant (INEC), to continue registration of voters up to 90 days to the date of election, the defendant can stop or terminate registration of eligible voters on July 31, 2022, which is more than six months to the next generation election scheduled to commence of February 25, 2023. 

“Whether having regard to the combined provisions of sections 77(2) and 78 of the 1999 Constitution, section 12(1) of the Electoral Act, 2022, and Article 13(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right, the defendant can refuse or decline to register a citizen of Nigeria who has attained the age of 18 years and present himself to the defendant for registration before 90 days to the scheduled 2023 general elections?

Sani, the second plaintiff, in an affidavit deposed to on behalf of himself and Ozekhome, claimed that he had made several attempts to register for the forthcoming election, but didn’t make any success due to INEC’s decision to discontinue the exercise.

In the affidavit, Sani claimed that: “I know, as a fact, that the cessation of the continuous voters’ registration has disenfranchised me and other eligible citizens and several other citizens who shall attain 18 years before the 27th day of November, 2022, which is exactly 90 days to the next general election scheduled to hold on 25th February, 2023.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: