HURIWA Threatens Legal Action Over Registration

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SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 17, (THEWILL) - Vexed by what it called ‘unprecedented state of organized confusion’ besieging staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] responsible for the ongoing registration of voters across the country, the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA, HURIWA, has threatened to institute class action in the Federal High Court against the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission Professor Attahiru Jega and the National Commissioners for allegedly scheming to disenfranchise a greater percentage of Nigerian voters through shoddy and inefficient registration exercise.

The Rights Group regretted the inexplicable state of difficulties being encountered by a lot of Nigerians while trying to register in the ongoing voter registration exercise even as it accused the electoral body of incompetence and ineptitude in spite of the huge budgetary allocations made available to it by the federal government.

The organization also warned the Independent National Electoral Commission that it was precipitating a situation of organized mass action and nation-wide civil disobedience activities by a cross section of Nigerians if the confusion and lack of focus trailing the ongoing registration of voters exercise across the country by the electoral commission is not checkmated immediately so as to allow all eligible Nigerians that have reached eighteen years to register and enjoy their universal adult suffrage.

In a media statement signed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Director of Media Affairs Ms. Zainab Yusuf, the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA, [HURIWA] said the Independent National Electoral Commission does not have any cogent and verifiable reasons not to carry out the most effective, efficient, fool-proof, scientific and transparent voters registration exercise because of the fact that the legal framework and the necessary financial resources have been made abundantly available to the body by the Federal Government and the National Assembly.

The Rights group warned the electoral body not to undermine the collective resolve of the Nigerian citizenry to enthrone a regime of transparent conduct of elections because of the adverse consequences that such organized lethargy and state of official anomie may cause for Nigeria if the people decide to take the law into their own hands to protest the scheming by the electoral body to disenfranchise them in the coming polls.

HURIWA said it has received reports from its members across the length and breadth of Nigeria on the ongoing voters registration exercise which according to it is so far characterized by total state of unpreparedness and the gross lack of necessary competencies by the officials of the commission to discharge its constitutional and legal duties of registering eligible Nigerians to vote.

“We have briefed our legal team and they are studying the situation to decide when and how to proceed to the competent court of law as believers of the principle of the rule of law to challenge the clear case of incompetence and gross ineptitude and dereliction of duty on the part of the officials of INEC,” the group said.