The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended the deadline for the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) pending further instruction from the commission.
Recall that Socio Economic Rights and Accountability Projects (SERAP) and about 185 concerned Nigerians had filed an action seeking the Abuja Federal Court to declare as unconstitutional and illegal the failure of INEC to extend the deadline for registration of voters, given the unprecedented surge in turn out of voter registrants in different parts of the country innr cent times.
The court granted an interim order baring the commission from ending voter registration on 30th June as it had earlier planned, pending hearing of the matter.
Secretary to the Commission, Rose Onaran-Anthony, in statement on Thursday, June 30 2022, directed all Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to continue with the voters registration exercise on until further instruction is given to them by the commision.
She further stated that arrangement is being made to provide more funds for the exercise to continue.
The statement read “ This is to inform all RECs that by this Circular they are to continue the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) Exercise until further decision is communicated to them.
“Meanwhile arrangement is being made to provide additional funds for the continuation of the exercise.
“While wishing you a successful exercise, please accept the assurances of the Commission’s warm regards.”
In a statement signed by the INEC national commissioner and chairman voter education committee, Barr. Festus Okoye, the commission also directed political parties to upload list and particulars of nominated candidates for Governorship and State Assembly positions starting from today, July 1 till July 15, 2022.
Okoye advised all political parties to carefully scrutinize the list and personal particulars of the candidates they propose to sponsor at the election to avoid any mix-up and duplication of names.
He further revealed that candidates nomination portal will shut down at 6pm on July 15th 2022, thereby urging them not to wait until the last day before they upload.
He also advised political parties that faces difficulty in uploading their particulars to contact the Commission’s Help-Desk, through their dedicated telephone lines or contact the candidate nomination centre at the Commission’s headquarters.
Part of the statement reads, “By the Timetable and Schedule of Activities released by the Commission, Political Parties that conducted valid Governorship and State Assembly primaries shall upload the list and personal particulars of their nominated candidates between 1st and 15th July 2022.
“We urge political parties to scrutinize the list and personal particulars of the candidates they propose to sponsor at the election to avoid any mix-up and duplication of names. Political parties are advised not to wait until the last day before uploading the list and personal particulars of their candidates. The Candidates Nomination Portal will shut down at 6pm on 15th July 2022.
“Political parties that have challenges with uploading documents should contact the Commission’s Help – Desk, through the dedicated telephone lines or contact the candidate nomination centre at the Commission’s headquarters.”
On the extension of voter registration, Okoye said the decision was reached after INEC meeting in its national headquarters, Abuja on Friday where different registration issues were discussed.
The deliberations include Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise, issuance of Certified True Copies (CTCs) of documents and the commencement of the uploading of the list and personal particulars of Governorship and State Assembly candidates.
The INEC National Commissioner, also reiterated the commission’s resolve to continue providing electoral services to the Nigerian people and register all eligible citizens that are interested in participating in the electoral exercise.
He also disclosed that additional machines were already being deployed to areas of pressure and would continue to serve the people of Nigeria.
Okoye further stated that the case at Federal High Court relating to the terminal date of the CVR came up on Wednesday June 29th, 2022. Based on the request of the Commission, the Court granted an accelerated hearing and adjourned the case to Monday, 4th July 2022 for hearing of the substantive matter. He informed that the commission will give an update after court hearing next week.
It was also revealed that 186 requests for CTCs, some running into hundreds of pages, have been processed.
Assuring all applicants of the CTCs of their work, Mr. Okoye said their applications will be treated with care and result issued in earnest.