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Peter Obi’s supporters storm court, sue INEC over abrupt termination of voter registration exercise

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True to its threat, the Peter Obi Support Network (POSN) has sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over its failure to comply with the constitutional provision that requires the commission to continue voter registration until at least 90 days to the general elections.

In Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/1342/2022 filed on its behalf by Abuja law firm, Ikechukwu Ezechukwu, SAN & Co., POSN argued that INEC’s abrupt termination of the voter registration exercise would disenfranchise millions of eligible voters during the 2023 presidential election.

The suit filed at the Federal High Court Abuja on Friday, August 5, 2022 seeks, among other things, an order compelling INEC to reverse its earlier directive halting the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise across the country on July 31 and to declare as ultra vires, the commission’s decision to put a timeline on the CVR exercise outside the timeline provided by the 2022 Electoral Act, as amended.

The Plaintiff/Applicant raised the following issues for Determination:

Whether having regards to the combined provisions of Sections 76(2), 77(2), 116(2), 117(2), 132(2) & (5) and 178 (2) & (5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended) as well as Sections 9(1), 9 (6), 10(1) and 12(1) of the Electoral Acts, 2022, the Defendant can or has the right or latitude to stop the continuous voter’s registration on 31st July, 2022, about over Seven and Half (71/2) months (208 days), or any other day not until ninety (90) days before the General Elections when there are millions of prospective voters including the Plaintiffs who have not Registered and are willing to do so.

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POSN is praying the court for the following reliefs:

A DECLARATION that the Defendant is expected pursuant to the provisions of Sections 76(2), 77(2), 116(2), 117(2), 132(2) & (5) and 178 (2) & (5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended) as well as Sections 9(1), 9 (6), 10(1) and 12(1) of the Electoral Acts, 2022, to continue voters Registration, update and Revision of voters register till 90 days before the General Election billed to take place on 25th February, 2023 and 11th march, 2o23.

A DECLARATION that it is the Constitutional responsibility of the Defendant to make sure that every prospective Nigeria voter who have shown desire to Register to vote are not derived their Civil right to Register and participate in the forthcoming General Elections Scheduled to take place on 25th February,2023 and 11th March 2023.

AN ORDER OF COURT directing the Defendant to Resume immediately the Registration of new voters, updating and Revision of the Register of voters until at least 90 days to the General Election slated to hold on 25th February, 2023 and 11th March, 2023.

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