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Court halts INEC’s plan to stop voter registration on June 30

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Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon of the Federal Excessive Court docket in Abuja has stopped the Unbiased Nationwide Electoral Fee from ending voter registration on June 30, 2022.

 

She gave the order of interim injunction following the listening to of an argument on movement exparte by Socio-Financial Rights and Accountability Mission. SERAP and 185 involved Nigerians had earlier within the month filed the lawsuit towards INEC asking the courtroom to “declare unconstitutional, unlawful, and incompatible with worldwide requirements the failure of the electoral physique to increase the deadline for voter registration to permit eligible Nigerians to train their rights.”

 

Within the go well with, SERAP had requested the courtroom for “an order restraining INEC, its brokers, privies, assigns, or another particular person(s) claiming by means of it from discontinuing the continual voters’ registration train from the thirtieth June 2022 or another date pending the listening to and dedication of the movement on discover.”

 

The go well with is adjourned to twenty ninth June, 2022 for the listening to of the Movement on Discover for interlocutory injunction.

 

The go well with adopted the choice by INEC to increase the deadline for the conduct of primaries by political events by six days, from June 3 to June 9. However the fee didn’t additionally lengthen the net pre-registration which ended Could 30 2022 and the Steady Voter Registration ending June 30, 2022.

 

Within the go well with quantity FHC/L/CS/1034/2022 filed on the Federal Excessive Court docket, Lagos, and transferred to Abuja, SERAP stated

“Voters are additionally crucial stakeholders within the electoral course of. Treating all eligible Nigerian voters pretty would advance the individuals’s proper to vote and to take part in their very own authorities. INEC should not solely be unbiased and neutral within the train of its constitutional and statutory obligations, however should even be seen to be unbiased and neutral.

Extending the voter registration train would additionally bolster voter confidence within the electoral course of. One of many individuals’s most sacred rights is the suitable to vote. The fee has a constitutional and statutory accountability to make sure the efficient train of the suitable of all eligible voters to take part in their very own authorities.

Extending the deadline for get together primaries with out offering enough time and alternative for eligible voters to register and take part within the 2023 common elections would quantity to an unfair and discriminatory therapy of Nigerian voters, and violate different human rights.

Extending the voter registration deadline would offer extra time for eligible voters, together with younger individuals, the aged, individuals dwelling with incapacity, in addition to these resident in states going through safety challenges and dwelling in IDP camps to take part within the 2023 elections.

Extending the deadline for voter registration could be totally according to constitutional and worldwide requirements, and the Electoral Act. Any such extension would additionally not affect negatively on INEC’s election calendar and actions.

The general public notion of the independence and impartiality of INEC is important for constructing public confidence within the electoral course of, and making certain the credibility and legitimacy of the 2023 elections.

The place Nigerians have doubts in regards to the independence and impartiality of INEC, they’re extra prone to have much less confidence within the electoral course of thereby undermining democracy.

Extending the deadline for voter registration would even be justified, given studies of challenges within the voter registration train, particularly for younger individuals, the aged, individuals dwelling with disabilities, and people resident in states going through safety challenges and dwelling in internally displaced individuals camps.”

 

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