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2023: Court declines request to order INEC to resume voter registration 

Anthony Iwuoma
Contrary to earlier report, the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, refused to grant the request to order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to resume the continuous voters registration, ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Justice Inyang Ekwo premised the Court’s refusal to the fact that the elections are very close.
SERAP and 185 concerned Nigerians had sued INEC, asking the court to “declare unconstitutional, illegal, and incompatible with international standards the failure of the electoral body to extend the deadline for voter registration to allow eligible Nigerians to exercise their rights.”
In the originating summons filed before the court, the plaintiffs contended that INEC had no right to discontinue the CVR, as doing that violated constitutional  provisions.
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They pleaded with the court to compel INEC to continue the registration exercise as stipulated by the law of the country.
In his ruling, the judge  noted that INEC is supposed to continue voters registration, update and revision of voters register until 90 days before the general election.

However, Justice Inyang said: “It is the constitutional responsibility of the defendant (INEC) to make sure that every prospective Nigeria voter who have shown desire to register to vote are not deprived, their civil right to register and participate in the forthcoming general elections scheduled to teke place on 25th February, 2023 and 11th March, 2023.
“This court is unable to grant relief number 3 of the plaintiffs because going by the date of this judgement, from the date of this judgement, the defendant will have just a few days away from 90 days before the general elections of 25th February, 2023 and 11th March, 2023.”