A former Akwa Ibom State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mike Igini, has accused some staff of the electoral body of registering underage voters.
The former INEC REC, who said that those involved in the recent INEC registration process are all staff of the commission which makes it easy to trace them, called for the prosecution of culprits.
“Those who have done this are staff of INEC, I can tell you. If you register as a registration officer, you register with your personal ID (identity card), all of them can be traced,” he said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Thursday.
“Anyone who undermines the confidence of public institutions must be brought to book.”
Igini cited a case in Akwa Ibom where an Information and Communications Technology staffer of INEC used his office to register underage voters.
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“The beauty of INEC procedures is that they are open to meaningful engagements and discussions. There was a time when we could say these were the handiwork of youth corpers or some people that were engaged but the current procedure and process of registration are all carried out by staff of INEC,” he maintained.
Igini further blamed the underage registration on collapse of values in the society, berating parents who allow their underaged children to register as voters.
He commended the commission for the publication of the voters’ register, saying that it is the first time in history for it to be published on INEC website.
Meanwhile, INEC has said each confirmed case of infraction in the ongoing display of register of voters across the country will be thoroughly investigated and culpable officials duly sanctioned.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, gave the assurance on Thursday in Abuja.
According to him, the display of all registrants speaks to INEC’s commitment to transparency.
He recalled that Saturday November 12, the commission published the preliminary national register of voters in its 8,809 Registration Areas (Wards) and 774 Local Government Area offices nationwide.
He added that similarly, the entire register had been published on the commission’s website for the first time in the nation’s electoral history.
He noted that the purpose of the display was to enable Nigerians to scrutinise the preliminary register and make claims about misspellings of names, personal details or missing names on the register so that the errors could be corrected.
Okoye said, “In addition, citizens can raise objections about the presence of ineligible persons, for example, those below the age of 18 years, dead persons, foreigners, or those making false claims so that they can be deleted from the register in line with the Commission’s established rules.”