Friday, June 9, 2023

Diaspora Voting: Nigerians living abroad to know fate February 15

Nigerians of voting age living in the diaspora are seeking to enforce their fundamental rights to vote in the 2023 general elections.

• January 31, 2023
Ballot box
INEC ballot box used to illustrate the story

A Federal High Court, Abuja, will on February 15 deliver judgment in a suit filed by Nigerians of voting age living in the diaspora to enforce their fundamental rights to vote in the 2023 general elections.

Justice Inyang Ekwo fixed the date on Tuesday after counsel for the parties adopted their processes and presented their arguments for and against the suit.

Two plaintiffs, Chikwe Nkemnacho and Kenneth Azubuike Nkemnacho, on behalf of Nigerians in the Diaspora, had filed the suit.

In the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/2119/2022, dated October 31 and filed November 9 by their lawyer, Augustine Temfeh-Nkemnacho, the plaintiffs sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and its chairman, Mahmood Yakubu.

Also joined in the suit were President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Republic of Nigeria as 1st to 4th respondents respectively.

The plaintiffs were asking the court to stop INEC from proceeding with the 2023 electioneering process until the commission’s voter register and bio-data base were updated to accommodate them as registered voters.

They prayed the court to declare that they were entitled to participate in the electoral process by being registered to vote in 2023 and in all elections wherever they were domiciled worldwide in line with Sections 13, 14, 42 and 17 of the 1999 Constitution.

They also sought another declaration by the court to the effect that there is still sufficient time for INEC to comply with provisions of sections 13, 14 and 15 of the 1999 Constitution.

The plaintiffs canvassed that unless they were allowed to vote in the 2023 elections and subsequent ones, their fundamental rights as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution would be grossly violated.


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