Eligible Nigerians living abroad have urged a Federal High Court, Abuja to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to register them in order to exercise their voting rights in the 2023 general election.
The plaintiffs in the suit are Mr Chikwe Nkemnacho and Mr Kenneth Nkemnacho, who lives in the UK, and instituted the case on behalf of other Nigerians in Diaspora worldwide before Justice Inyang Ekwo.
In the suit marked: FHC/ ABJ/ CS/2119/2022, the plaintiffs prayed the court to stop the Federal Government and INEC from further proceeding with the 2023 electioneering process until the commission’s voter register and bio-data base are updated to accommodate them as registered voters.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the plaintiffs listed INEC, chairman of INEC, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Federal Republic of Nigeria as 1st to 4th defendants respectfully.
The suit, dated Oct. 31 and filed on Nov 11, was instituted by their lawyer, Augustine Temofeh-Nkemnacho, sought the enforcement of the plaintiffs’ fundamental rights to vote in the 2023 general elections.
They also prayed the court to declare that those of them, who are of voting age, are entitled to participate in the electoral process by being registered to vote in 2023 and in all elections wherever they are domiciled worldwide in line with Sections 13, 14, 42 and 17 of the 1999 Constitution.
They further sought court declaration that there is still sufficient time for INEC to comply with provisions of Sections 13, 14 and 15 of the 1999 Constitution.
They canvassed that unless they are allowed to vote in the 2023 elections and subsequent ones, their fundamental rights as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution would be grossly violated.
Upon mentioning the suit on Tuesday, Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter until Jan. 19 for further mention to allow the defendants file their respective responses.