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Federal High Court Grants Prison Inmates Voting Rights

A Federal High Court judge, justice Lima Mohammed, has ruled that any acts to deny inmates the right to vote was unconstitutional, illegal, irregular, unlawful, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.

The ruling followed a suit filed by five inmates Victor Emenuwe, Onome Inaye, Kabiru Abu, Osagie Iyekepolor and Modugu Odin for and on behalf of inmates of Nigeria Prisons.

Defendants in the suit are the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Controller-General of Nigeria Prisons Service.

In the suit, the Plaintiffs had sought for a determination on whether having regards to the provisions of section 25 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended in 2011, and section twelve one of the Electoral Act 2010, they were not entitled to be registered as voters by the 1st Defendants.

They asked the court to determine whether the failure of the 1st Defendant to make registration and voting provisions for the inmates in the custody of the 2nd Defendant does not constitute an infringement on their rights as citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.

Justice Lima, who ruled that inmates in Nigeria have the right to vote in all elections conducted in the country, directed the Defendants to ensure that the applicants are not disenfranchised.

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