The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, behaved improperly when it terminated the Continuous Voters’ Registration, CRV, program on July 31, more than six months before the 2023 general elections, according to a Friday ruling by the Federal High Court in Abuja.
In a ruling written by Justice Inyang Ekwo, the court expressed its conviction that the electoral body’s move “would disenfranchise millions of eligible potential voters.”
It was decided that the only time INEC could halt the CRV process was at least 90 days before the next scheduled general elections on February 25, 2023.
The ruling came after a lawsuit with the case number FHC/ABJ/CS/1335l2022, which was submitted to the court by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, and Abubakar Damisa Sani, two prominent constitutional attorneys.
According to the judge, the Defendant’s justification for stopping the CVR on July 31, 2022, depriving the Plaintiffs and other Nigerians who are eligible to vote in the general elections of 2023, is untenable given the circumstances of this case.
According to him, Defendant acted prematurely when he stopped the CVR on July 31, 2022, for the general elections that will take place on February 25, 2023, and March 11, 2023, respectively.
The court similarly declined to direct INEC to permit persons with temporary voters cards to cast ballots in the next elections. They were properly registered to vote in 2023, but they were unable to receive their Permanent Voters Card, or PVC, as INEC had stopped accepting registrations and collecting PVCs on July 31, 2022, in violation of sections 9(6) and 10(1) of the Electoral Act of 2022.