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Ozekhome Sues INEC Over Suspension Of Voters Registration

 Mike Ozekhome (SAN) the Human Rights lawyer and Abubakar Sani have sued INEC. Ozekhome and Sani dragged INEC before an Abuja Federal High Court over the suspension of Continuous Voters Registration (CVR).

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1335/2022, Ozekhome and Sani asked the court to compile the electoral body to extend the continuous voter registration to November 27, which is the end of the 90 days for registration of voters before the 2023 general election. According to the duo, the suspension of the CVR on July 31, 2022, more than six months before the general elections, would disenfranchise millions of eligible and potential voters.

The plaintiffs contended that the action of INEC contravened the explicit provisions of sections 9(6), 10(1), and 12(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, which stipulates 90 days to the next election before the stoppage of the exercise. We understand that Ozekhome and Sani posed five questions for determination by the court.

These include: “Whether having regard to the combined provisions of sections 9(6) and 10(1) of the Electoral Act, 2022, which mandates the defendant (INEC), to continue registration of voters up to 90 days to the date of the election, the defendant can stop or terminate the registration of eligible voters on July 31, 2022, which is more than six months to the next general 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 Rights, the defendant can refuse or decline to register a citizen of Nigeria who has attained the age of 18 years and presented himself to the defendant for registration before 90 days to the scheduled 2023 general elections?”   

While no date has been fixed for hearing, the suit is accompanied by an affidavit of urgency wherein the defendant deposed that several attempts by them to register themselves as eligible voters for 2023 were without success.

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