Lawyer sues INEC, seeks extension of Voter registration till 2019

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A legal practitioner, Olumide Babalola, has approached the Federal High Court in Lagos, urging the court to declare that it is unlawful for the Independent National Electoral Commission to close registration for Permanent Voter Cards in August.

Ahead of the general elections next year, INEC had pegged the deadline for voters’ registration at August 17, 2018.

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But Babalola, in his suit, contended that by virtue of sections 9(5) and 10 of the Electoral Act, INEC could not suspend the Continuous Voter Registration until 30 days to the election.

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In the suit marked, FHC/L/CS/1280/18, the lawyer urged the court to interpret Section 9(5) of the Electoral Act vis-à-vis the power of INEC to suspend the Continuous Voter Registration.

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He urged the court to declare that the August 17, 2017, which INEC had fixed as deadline for voter registration was illegal.

He urged the court to make an order of perpetual injunction restraining the electoral umpire from suspending registration for the PVC until 30 days to the election.

“Even on the respondent’s (INEC) website, it is stated that the Continuous Voter Registration ought not to stop until 30 days to election.

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“If the respondent is not restrained from suspending the voter registration, I will be disenfranchised and thereby violating my constitutional right to vote and be voted for,” Babalola said.

Urging the court to hear the suit during the ongoing vacation, the lawyer said there was an urgency in his suit because if he waited till the end of the court’s vacation in September “it may be too late to remedy the damages.”

“This suit is of utmost urgency as the respondent has perfected plans to stop the continuous voters’ registration,” the lawyer said.

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The court has yet to fix a date for the hearing of the suit.

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