INEC uncovers 1.3 million invalid registration, probes complicit staff

INEC uncovers 1.3 million invalid registration, probes complicit staff

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The Independent National Electoral Commission on Wednesday said it had discovered 1,390,519 invalid registrations in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration.

The commission also said the figure amounted to 45 per cent of the 2,523,458 completed registration.

The chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said these during a press conference in Abuja.

According to him, the figure was from completed registration starting from June 2021 to January 14, 2022.

He said the country was now in the fourth quarter of the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration which was restarted on June 28, 2021, after it was suspended for the 2019 general election.

While describing the development as worrisome, the INEC boss cited multiple registration, failure of the Automated Biometric Identification System, and incomplete data as the reasons for the invalid voter registrations.

Yakubu who said the infraction happened in all states of the federation, insisted that the invalid registrations will not be included in the register of voters.

He said while the number of new registrants is very impressive, the commission has a duty to clean up the data to ensure that only eligible Nigerians are registered.

Yakubu said, “Sadly, it seems that many registrants, either out of ignorance that they do not need to re-register if they had done so before, or a belief that our systems will not detect this infraction, have gone out to register again. This is despite repeated warnings by the commission against this illegal action.

“In addition, there are also registrants whose data were incomplete and did not meet our Business Rules for inclusion in the register. Both categories i.e. the failure of ABIS and incomplete data constitute invalid registrations.

“Presently, nearly 45 per cent of completed registrations nationwide are invalid, rising to as high as 60 per cent or more in some states. This infraction happened in all states of the Federation. No State is immune from it. These invalid registrations will not be included in the Register of Voters.

“This development is worrisome because of the time and resources expended in handling these cases.
Even more disturbing are the strong indications that some of our staff may be complicit in facilitating these infractions, notwithstanding stern warnings.

“Consequently, the commission is reviewing reports on such staff and has commenced a detailed investigation which may include the prosecution of those found culpable”.

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