Court fixes Feb 15 to decide on eligibility of Nigerians in diaspora to vote
A federal high court in Abuja has fixed February 15 to deliver judgment in a suit seeking to allow Nigerians in diaspora to vote in the forthcoming general election.
Inyang Ekwo, the presiding judge, fixed the date on Tuesday after counsel for the parties adopted their processes and presented their arguments for and against the suit.
Chikwe Nkemnacho and Kenneth Nkemnacho, the plaintiffs who live in the United Kingdom, instituted the case on behalf of Nigerians in the diaspora.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the INEC chairperson, the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the Federal Republic of Nigeria are listed as the first to fourth defendants, respectfully.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/2119/2022, the plaintiffs asked the court to order INEC and the federal government to suspend campaigning for the 2023 elections until they are included as registered voters for the polls.
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Additionally, they asked the court to rule that, in accordance with sections 13, 14, 42, and 17 of the 1999 constitution, those of them who are of voting age are entitled to take part in the electoral process by registering to vote in all elections, regardless of their place of residence.
They further sought a court declaration that there is still sufficient time for INEC to comply with provisions of sections 13, 14, and 15 of the 1999 constitution.
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 violated.