Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to resume the Continuous Voters Registration exercise until 90 days before the 2023 general elections, as the Nigerian constitution states.
The court order to allow Nigerians to register for voting rights is coming five days (27th of November 2022) to the 90 days period given by the country’s constitution. Justice Inyang Ekwo, in the judgement, also directed the electoral body to ensure that eligible voters receive their voter card for the forthcoming election in 2023.
Nigeria ended the continuous voters registration exercise on the 31st of July 2023 to allow INEC to mop-up the voters register. The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, then announced that 93.5 million Nigerians were registered to vote in the 2023 general elections.
- The figure includes the 12.29 million Nigerians who completed the suspended Continuous Voter Registration exercise (CVR) and the 84,004,084 voters already in the existing register.
- INEC published the list of preliminary registered voters for the 2023 general elections as expected on Nov 12th. The list of voters is accessible to the public at the polling units all over the country, and on the electoral body’s official website.
- But several images that went viral since the publication of INEC’s register showed a series of individuals who were unfit to be in the register. While some voters in the register were allegedly underage, others had repeated photographs with different names and locations attached to them.
The big picture
While restarting the continuous voters registration exercise five days (27th of November 2022) to the 90 days period given by the country’s constitution will accommodate more voters, it would also destabilize an already inconsistent INEC database. The published voters register is already flawed with underage voters, duplicated identity, etc.