By: Sunday Ejike – Abuja
Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday dismissed the request by Nigerians in Diaspora to vote in the 2023 general elections from their respective countries abroad.
The Judge held that there was no provision in the laws of the country to support the request by Nigerians based in foreign countries to vote or be voted for now.
In a judgment in the suit instituted against President Muhammadu Buhari and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Judge turned down the request by the Diaspora citizens to stop the conduct of the forthcoming elections.
In the judgment, Justice Ekwo directed the plaintiffs to direct their anger at the National Assembly to make laws that would accommodate voting outside the shore of the country.
Nigerians of voting age resident in the United Kingdom and various parts of the world had dragged Buhari and INEC before the Court in Abuja seeking enforcement of their fundamental rights to vote in the 2023 general elections.
In the suit marked FHC/ ABJ/ CS/2119/2022, they had prayed the court to stop Buhari and INEC from further proceeding with the 2023 electioneering process until INEC’s voter register and bio-data base are updated to accommodate them as registered voters.
The plaintiffs in the suit are Barrister Chikwe Nkemnacho and Kenneth Azubuike Nkemnacho, both residing in the United Kingdom but instituted the suit on behalf of other Nigerians in the diaspora worldwide.
However, Justice Ekwo while sympathizing with them held that their case has revealed a lacuna in the 1999 Constitution and other laws.
He held that the lacuna in the constitution was not the type that can be cured by his court but through legislation of the National Assembly and consequently dismissed the suit for want of merit.
The four defendants in the suit are INEC, the Chairman of INEC, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Federal Republic of Nigeria as 1st to 4th defendants respectively.
READ ALSO FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE