The Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday issued an interim order restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC from going ahead with its plan to end the ongoing voter registration exercise on June 30.
Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon made the interim order in a ruling on an application for an interim injunction by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project
(SERAP) and 185 other concerned Nigerians.
The applicants had urged the court to extend the voter registration period to avert the illegal disenfranchisement of many yet-to-be-registered Nigerians willing to vote in various elections.
SERAP in a statement on Monday said the applicants filed the suit after INEC extended the deadline for the conduct of primaries by political parties by six days, from June 3 to June 9, but failed “failed to also extend the online pre-registration which ended May 30, 2022 and the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) ending June 30, 2022.”
The statement disclosed further that the court, after granting the applicant’s request for an interim order extended the adjourned case until June 29.
The suit, read in part: “Enforcing unrealistic voter registration deadline while extending the deadline for party primaries would deny and abridge the constitutional and international human rights of eligible voters.”
“INEC mandates ought to be exercised in a fair, just and non-discriminatory manner. The extension of voter registration would ensure that Nigerian voters are treated equally and fairly. The future of Nigeria’s democracy depends on it.”
“Voters are also critical stakeholders in the electoral process. Treating all eligible Nigerian voters fairly would advance the people’s right to vote and to participate in their own government.”