The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to allow 7 million Nigerians to complete their voter registration or face legal action.
The group made this known in a letter dated 13 August 2022 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare.
The organisation said: “The failure of the applicants to complete their registration may be due to factors entirely outside of their control, especially given the well-documented challenges faced by many Nigerians at registration centres across the country.
“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP and the affected Nigerians shall consider appropriate legal actions to compel INEC to comply with our request in the public interest.
“Unless they are given a reasonable time and opportunity to complete the registration process, and to obtain their voter cards, these eligible Nigerians will not be able to vote in the 2023 general elections.
“If citizens’ chance to vote is denied, that would amount to violation of their fundamental right to vote, just as it would be if they were prevented from casting any vote at all.”
INEC earlier disclosed that out of 10,487,972 Nigerians carried out their pre-registration online. But only 3,444,378 Nigerians representing 32.8 per cent, completed the process at a physical centre.
Meanwhile, the 7,043,594 persons accounted for over 67per cent of those who began their registration process online, but could not collect a voter card, which implied that they will not be able to vote in the 2023 general elections.
This is coming after the INEC confirmed that the continuous voter registration exercise (CVR) ended on Sunday, 31 July 2022, as earlier fixed as the deadline.