The court ordered INEC must ensure that eligible Nigerians are not deprived the opportunity to have the voter’s card for the forthcoming poll.

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately resume the continuous voters registration (CVR) until 90 days before the 2023 general elections.

The judge, Inyang Ekwo, ordered in a judgement, that INEC must ensure that eligible Nigerians are not deprived the opportunity to have the voter’s card for the forthcoming poll.

Mr Ekwo held that it was the constitutional responsibility of the electoral umpire to make adequate provision for the exercise in accordance with the Nigerian laws.

“The case of the plaintiffs succeeds on merit,” the judge declared.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Anajat Salmat and three others had sued INEC as sole defendant in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1343/2022.

In the originating summons filed before the court, the plaintiffs argued that INEC cannot stop the CVR contrary to the stipulated provisions of the constitution.

They urged the court to order the electoral umpire to resume the exercise in accordance with the law of the country.

Earlier in June the Federal High Court in Abuja stopped the INEC from ending voter registration on 30 June 2022.

The judge, Mobolaji Olajuwon, in a ruling granted an order of interim injunction following the hearing of an argument on motion exparte by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

SERAP and 185 concerned Nigerians had early this month filed the lawsuit against 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.”

The suit followed the decision by INEC to extend the deadline for the conduct of primaries by political parties by six days, from June 3 to June 9. But the commission failed to also extend the online pre-registration which ended May 30 2022 and the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) ending 30 June 2022.

In the suit number FHC/L/CS/1034/2022 filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos, and transferred to Abuja, SERAP is asking 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.”

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