The Federal High Court in Abuja has stopped the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from ending voter registration on 30 June 2022.
The judge in charge of the case, Honorable Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon granted an order of interim injunction following the hearing of the argument by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).
The advocacy organization along with 185 concerned Nigerians had filed the lawsuit against INEC earlier this month. The group asked 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 suit, SERAP had 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.”
According to SERAP, the suit was filed as INEC easily extended the deadline for the conduct of primaries by political parties by six days, from June 3 to June 9, but had “failed to also extend the online pre-registration which ended May 30, 2022 and the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) ending June 30, 2022.”
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”. The court adjourned the case to 29th June, 2022 for the hearing of the Motion on Notice for interlocutory injunction.
In the suit, SERAP 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.”