Thursday, June 24, 2021

Kano alleged underage voting: INEC’s full investigation report ready – Yakubu


Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said it would soon release the full report of its investigation into alleged under-aged voting in the Kano election report.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu disclosed this during an interaction with political editors of media organisations on Saturday in Lagos.

Mr Yakubu recalled that the commission had earlier in Abuja disclosed that its voter register was not used by the Kano State Independent Electoral Commission, KANSIEC, for the February local government poll.

He, however, said that based on the demand by some stakeholders, the commission would soon release the report submitted by the committee set up to investigate the allegations.

“INEC committee conducted investigation, submitted its report and we addressed the press on the matter that there was no connection between INEC voter register and the incidence of underage voting in Kano.

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“In fact in many voting units they did not even use voter register to accredit anyone.

“Having said so, there is a demand that we should release the report of our investigation. I assure you we will soon release the full report of that investigation.’’

Mr Yakubu, speaking on the clean-up of the voter register, said that the commission would continue to strengthen the register.

He said while the commission had been working on the clean-up of the register, no single Nigerian had officially complained to INEC about the inclusion of ineligible persons.

Mr Yakubu said as part of measures to clean up the register, the commission pasted the details of new registrants nationwide as well as given each registered political party a copy of the register for claims and objections.

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“As we speak the commission has not officially received any complaint of the registration of ineligible persons.
“Only last week in Ekiti we made it available to 35 political parties contesting in the state elections, we have not also received a single complaint,’’

Mr Yakubu said that when the Kano investigation was conducted, the commission agreed to give the register to civil society organisations and the media.

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He said that would be done without infringing on the right of Nigerians to apply for the register once they paid to the commission the relevant fee stipulated by the law.

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“I want to assure you that we will continue to do whatever we can to improve the voter registration as we approach 2019 general elections.’’

Yakubu added that one of the innovations INEC had brought into the registration process was that registered voters could now check the status of their registration online.

Answering another question on the allegation that officers of the commission demanded for money before they register voters, Mr Yakubu said that the registration and collection of cards were free.

He urged Nigerians to report to the commission if any of its staff demanded for money.

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