Nigerians in diaspora have dragged President Muhammadu Buhari and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, before a 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 resident in 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.
The plaintiffs, in suit FHC/ ABJ/ CS/2119/2022, are praying 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 diaspora, are Chikwe Nkemnacho and Kenneth Nkemnacho, both of whom are resident in 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.
They want the court to declare 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 fundermental 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, and ordered service of all the court processes on the defendants.
Defendants in the suit are the INEC and its Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, President Buhari and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.