The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to provide voting rights for inmates incarcerated at custodial centres across the country.
Gombe State Comptroller of NCoS, Lawal Idris Gusau, stated this in Gombe during a one-day stakeholders meeting for Northeast stakeholders ahead of the 2023 general elections, organised by the Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA).
Represented by Assistant Comptroller Operations, John Zakka Dukwui, he said the electoral laws have disenfranchised inmates from participating in elections.
Gusau lamented that the Nigerian constitution also does not recognise inmates as voters, saying that those incarcerated at custodial centres should be given opportunity to vote “because being there does not deprive them of their citizenship.”
He called for the amendment of the constitution and electoral act to recognise inmates as voters and make provision for them to vote at the respective custodial centres they are being incarcerated.
Earlier, Executive Director of CTA, Mrs Faith Nwadishi, said her organisation as an accredited domestic observer, convened the stakeholders’ meeting as part of its contributions towards having a free, fair and peaceful elections.