Friday, September 30, 2022

Breaching Of Electoral Act: INEC Reacts To CCSO Claims


Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has denied the claim by a coalition of civil society organisations that it violated some aspects of the 2022 Electoral Act by not publishing a comprehensive list of registered voters.

He, however, said the commission was working towards publishing a comprehensive list of registered voters in Nigeria, ahead of the 2023 elections.

The CSOs, under the platform of Situation Room, had accused INEC of non-compliance with Section 19 (1) of the Act which spells out how voters’ registration should be displayed across the country.

Yakubu said the list would integrate the fresh voters registered at the just-concluded Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) to the existing register of over 84 million voters.

Yakubu said INEC had not fixed a date for the activity in question and when the time comes, it would do so.

Yakubu spoke yesterday in Abuja at a stakeholders’ validation meeting on the 2022 Revised Framework and Regulations For Voting by Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

He said the date for the exercise will be communicated after cleaning its data of double or multiple registrants after the just concluded Continuous Voters Registration (CVR).

He said, “At a media briefing yesterday, the commission was accused of failure to display the voters’ register as provided by Section 19(1) of the Electoral Act 2022. This claim is incorrect.

“What the commission displayed for claims and objections in our local government area offices nationwide for a period of one week, from August 15 to August 21, was not the entire register of voters.

“It was the list of fresh registrants at the end of the fourth and last quarter of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise covering the period from April 11 to July 31.

“This has been the practice for several years.”

He said that the commission had displayed the register three times: from Sept. 24 to Sept. 30, 2021 (First Quarter), December 24 to December 30, 2021 (Second Quarter) and March 26 to – April 1 2022 (Third Quarter).

Yakubu said that a comprehensive schedule of the CVR and the display of the register were shared with stakeholders at the commission’s quarterly meeting just before the inception of the exercise in June 2021.

“We wish to assure Nigerians that the commission will display the comprehensive register in all the 8,809 wards and 774 local government areas/area councils nationwide as envisaged in Section 19(1) of the Electoral Act, 2022,” he said.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Electoral Matters, Aishatu Jibril Dukku, has said although it is pertinent for IDPs to vote during the 2023 election, it’s more important for them to be relocated to their ancestral homes.

She stressed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) can not be accurate with IDPs logistics issues ahead of the 2023 election amid the challenges.

Dukku prayed for the successful relocation of the IDPs, saying due to their forced displacement, are inherently vulnerable to deprivation, lack of food, flooding, further displacement, and other protection risks, such as lack of access to basic services, family separation, sexual and gender-based violence, trafficking, discrimination and harassment.

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