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2023: INEC, NCoS meet on modalities for prisoners’ voting

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) have commenced discussions on the possibility of inmates voting during general elections.  The…

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) have commenced discussions on the possibility of inmates voting during general elections. 

The issue was brought to the fore when a delegation led by the Comptroller General (CG) of the NCoS, Haliru Nababa, visited the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Tuesday in Abuja.

 Nababa was represented by the deputy comptroller general in charge of operations, Daniel Odaro.

Both organisations agreed that it was high time inmates were granted voting rights in compliance with an existing high court judgment in Benin.

 Listing five conditions that must be met under section 12(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, the INEC chair said, “Number five, which is really critical to our discussion today is that he or she must not be subject to any legal incapacity to vote under any law, rule, or regulation imposed in Nigeria.”

  He said there was a need to know the categories of inmates that would exercise the right to vote.

Other issues he raised included the location of polling units for inmates, the possibility of political party campaigning in the correctional facilities, voter education for inmates, voter registration for inmates, and observers access to correctional facilities to monitor elections if polling units have to be situated in the facilities.