A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to resume the continuous voters registration (CVR), until there are 90 days left before the 2023 general elections.
In a judgement on Tuesday, Justice Inyang Ekwo also directed the INEC to ensure that eligible Nigerians are not deprived the opportunity to have the voter’s card for the forthcoming poll.
Justice 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.
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.
INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has said 95 million eligible voters would determine Nigeria’s president in the 2023 general elections.
Yakubu said Nigeria has more eligible voters than the total number of registered voters in 14 West African countries, which is 73million.
He stated these on Wednesday at an event organized by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and Yiaga Africa at the NED Headquarters, Washington DC, United States.
“It is exactly 136 days to the 2023 general election. It is the seventh successive general election since the restoration of democracy in Nigeria 23 years ago in 1999. This is the longest unbroken period of democracy and democratic elections since independence from British colonial rule 62 years ago in 1960.”
“We have never had this long spell of unbroken period of democracy, democratic governance and elections. The election is significant because the incumbent President is not eligible to run, this being his second and final term.
“There are 18 political parties in the race to produce the next President to be elected by 95m voters. We had over 84m registered voters in 2019. But with last Continuous Registration of Voters (CVR), we are going to add at least 10m Nigerians and that will take the Register of Voters to 95m,” Yakubu said.
According to him, there will be 22m more voters in Nigeria than the whole of West Africa put together.
“Each time Nigerian goes to the polls, it’s like the whole of West Africa voting. And these 95m citizens will vote in 176,846 polling units (PUs),” he said.