…insist they must vote
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri, Abuja
Nigerians in the diaspora have sued President Muhammadu Buhari and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, insisting they must be allowed to participate in the 2023 general elections.
The plaintiffs, who told the court that they are residents of the United Kingdom and various parts of the world, are seeking an order to compel INEC to allow them to vote.
They maintained that continued refusal by the electoral body to create room for them to participate in general elections amounts to a gross violation of their fundamental rights.
Specifically, the plaintiffs, in the suit marked FHC/ ABJ/ CS/2119/2022, prayed the court to stop President Buhari and INEC from further proceeding with the 2023 electioneering process until INEC’S voter register and bio-database, are updated to accommodate them as registered voters.
Those that filed the suit on behalf of other Nigerians in the diaspora, are; Chikwe Nkemnacho and Kenneth Azubuike Nkemnacho, both of whom are residents of the UK.
They are praying the court to declare that they 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, as amended.
As well as for a declaration by the court that there is still sufficient time for INEC to comply with provisions of sections 13, 14 and 15 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
They argued 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 breached.
Meanwhile, Justice Inyang Ekwo has adjourned the matter till January 19, 2023, for its mention, even as he ordered service of all the court processes on the defendants.
Cited as 1st to 4th defendants in the matter, are; the INEC and its Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, President Buhari and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.