SERAP seeks extension of voters’ registration, threatens to sue INEC

SERAP seeks extension of voters’ registration, threatens to sue INEC

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has been warned by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) to extend the voter registration exercise or risk legal action.

The group communicated this in a letter dated August 13, 2022.

Specifically, the letter signed by Kolawole Oluwadare, the deputy director of SERAP.

In a statement, the group urged INEC to immediately give seven million Nigerians who have completed their online voter registration the time and opportunity to complete the process, so that they can obtain their permanent voter cards and exercise their right to vote.

Only 3,444,378 Nigerians, out of 10,487,972 who pre-registered online, completed the procedure in a physical centre; according to current information from INEC.

This represented just 32.8 percent of completed online registration, SERAP noted.

SERAP’s letter read in part; “The failure of the applicants to complete their registration may be due to factors entirely outside of their control; especially given the well-documented challenges faced by many Nigerians at registration centres across the country.

“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then; SERAP and the affected Nigerians shall consider appropriate legal actions to compel INEC to comply with our request in the public interest.

“Unless they are given a reasonable time and opportunity to complete the registration process; to obtain their voter cards; these eligible Nigerians will not be able to vote in the 2023 general elections.

“If citizens’ chance to vote is denied, that would amount to a violation of their fundamental right to vote; just as it would be if they were prevented from casting any vote at all.”

Meanwhile, former President, Goodluck Jonathan has advised Nigerians to be circumspect in exercising their voting rights in 2023.

Jonathan gave the advice while delivering a keynote address in Abuja on Saturday, August 13.

He said that 2023 should be seen as an avenue to elect the kind of leadership Nigeria deserved now and in the future to assume its rightful place among the comity of nations.

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