Voter Registration Deadline: Court Grants Interim Injunction Against INEC
The Federal High Court in Abuja has granted an order of interim injunction against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which gave June 30, 2022 as the deadline for it’s Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise.
Ahead of the 2023 General Election in the country, many Nigerians have not been able to register for voting and had therefore called on INEC to further extend the June 30 deadline.
So, to force INEC to heed to the people’s request, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and 185 Nigerians filed a lawsuit against INEC.
SERAP said the deadline should be pushed forward in the same manner INEC extended the deadline for the conduct of primaries by political parties.
In the suit FHC/L/CS/1034/2022, filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos, and transferred to Abuja, SERAP asked the court for “an order restraining INEC, its agents, privies, assigns, or any other person(s) claiming through it from discontinuing the continuous voters’ registration exercise from the 30th June 2022 or any other date pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice”.
SERAP also asked the court to determine “whether the failure of INEC to extend the deadline for voter registration is not a violation of Nigerian Constitution, 1999 (as amended), the Electoral Act, and international standards.
It asked for “a declaration that the failure of INEC to extend the deadline for voter registration is a violation of eligible Nigerians’ rights to participate freely in their own government, equality and equal protection.”
SERAP is also seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel INEC to extend voter registration by a minimum of three months and take effective measures to ensure that eligible Nigerians are able to register to exercise their right to vote in the 2023 General Election.”
SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, in a statement on Monday, said Mobolaji Olajuwon, the presiding judge, granted an order of interim injunction following the hearing of an argument on an ex parte motion.
The suit was adjourned to June 29, 2022, for the hearing of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.