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Group prays court to stop INEC from conducting election in IDP camps

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IDPs camp

The Forum for Transparency and Integrity in Leadership has asked the Federal High Court, Lagos to determine whether the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) can allow Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to vote without complying with the law on voter registration.

The plaintiff alongside a lawyer, Samuel Adeniji are praying the court to determine whether INEC has the power to conduct 2019 election in IDP camps without compiling and maintaining a register of voters in respect of eligible voters in the local government areas of origin of the IDPs in question.

The plaintiffs want the court to hold that IDPs can only vote when they comply with the provision of the Electoral Act by applying to the Resident Electoral Commissioner of the respective states in which the IDP camps are located.

They sought a declaration that it would be unconstitutional and illegal for INEC to carry out elections in IDP camps without first complying with the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act 2010 by compiling and maintaining as part of the national register of voters the names of all persons entitled to vote in each IDP camp.

The plaintiffs, through their counsel, Lekan Idowu of Edgewise Solicitors, prayed for a declaration that they are entitled to view and inspect the voters register, if any, which INEC intends to use in the IDP camps.

They also prayed the court to declare that it would be unconstitutional and illegal for INEC to conduct elections in IDP camps located in the Niger Republic and the Chad Republic or in any other country or place outside Nigeria.

According to them, INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu had announced that IDPs in those countries “who left their abodes due to insurgency in the Northeast would not be denied their voting rights”.

In a supporting affidavit deposed to, by Adeniji, who is a member of the forum, he said the IDP camps are scattered in different locations in the Northeast and Abuja, adding that he was not aware that INEC has so far enumerated the specific local government areas the IDPs were originally located.

Adeniji said he was also not aware that the individuals who now reside in the IDP camps applied to be registered or to transfer their registration from their original places of abode to their new locations.

“I believe that it is in the interest of justice that the reliefs in the originating summons are granted,” he prayed.


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