2023: INEC gives condition for adding new registrants to Voters’ Register
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, cleared the air on circulating reports that over 10 million fresh registrants may have been added to the current voters’ register by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in an effort to manipulate 2023 general elections.
THECONSCIENCEng reports that INEC’s National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr. Festus Okoye, in a statement, said the commission is still in the process of cleaning up fresh registration data obtained during the last Continuous Voter Registration, CVR.
The Coalition of United Political Parties, CUPP, had at a news conference displayed extracts of the National Voters’ register, which it claimed were part of at least 10 million fake registrations done by the APC.
It claimed that the names were sourced from both within and outside Nigeria including some African countries such as Ghana, Cameroon, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Togo, Guinea, Gambia and countries outside Africa including Jamaica, Brazil and New Zealand.
However, Okoye recalled that on July 31 2022, the INEC suspended the CVR to commence supplemental activities that will culminate in the integration of new registrants into the final Register of Voters for the 2023 general elections.
He said: “it is important to reiterate that no new registrant has been added to the Register of Voters for the 2023 General Election or will be included until these supplemental activities have been completed in line with the law.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we restate the main components of these activities. First, the Commission is conducting a comprehensive Automated Biometric Identification System, ABIS, cleanup of the registration data by scrutinising every record. Based on the Electoral Act 2022, any record that does not meet all the criteria for inclusion as stipulated in Section 10, including the appearance in person by the registrant at the registration venue with proof of identity, age and nationality and our business rules requirements of adequate number of fingerprints and clear pictures will be invalidated.”
He disclosed that in line with Section 19(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, after the ABIS and cleanup, the INEC shall appoint a period of seven days during which the register will be published for scrutiny by the public for objections and complaints.