SERAP gives INEC ultimatum to allow Nigerians complete voter registration

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow Nigerians complete their voter registration.

The body issued a one-week ultimatum to INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu to give seven million Nigerians the chance to obtain their permanent voter cards (PVCs).

SERAP cited INEC’s disclosure that out of 10,487,972 Nigerians who pre-registered, only 3,444,378 completed the process at a physical centre.

In a letter dated August 13, 2022, Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare said denying eligible citizens the opportunity to complete their registration will affect trust in the process.

The organization warned that it would impair their right to vote and choose candidates of choice in the 2023 general elections.

SERAP told INEC that failure of the applicants to complete their registration at designated centres “are not sufficiently weighty to justify their exclusion”.

Oluwadare said the electoral umpire’s “proffered justification” of saving time and cost are insufficient.

“Administrative convenience is simply not a compelling justification in light of the fundamental nature of the right to vote.”

SERAP reminded Yakubu that Section 9(6) of the Electoral Act 2022 provides that registration of voters, updating and revision of records shall not stop not later than 90 days before any election.