By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Abuja, May 6, 2023(NAN) The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is yet to receive official communication from the House of Representatives on its resolution regarding the nation’s voter register.
The Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, told newsmen on Friday in Abuja, while reacting to a media publication of the House of Representatives calling for the removal of fictitious names from the register.
Oyekanmi said that the House of Representatives had called on INEC to remove fictitious names from the register.
The House made the resolution at its plenary on Thursday, following the unanimous adoption of a motion of urgent public importance.
The motion was moved by a member, Leke Abejide, representing Yagba East/West/Mopamuro constituency in the 9th National Assembly.
The titled ‘Urgent Need for Independent National Electoral Commission to Develop Mechanism to Clean Up Its System of Dead and Fictitious Registered Voters.’
“Our attention has been drawn to media reports of the resolution passed by the House of Representatives on Friday, asking INEC to take certain actions on the National Register of Voters.
“However, it is also the tradition of the House to officially transmit such resolutions with details of what transpired to the commission each time such specific resolutions are passed, to enable INEC take the required steps.
“But the commission is yet to receive any communication from the House to that effect. Therefore, I cannot respond on the basis of media reports,” Oyekanmi said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that INEC conducted the last Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) between June 2021 and July 2022 during which the preliminary voters’ register was displayed for claims and objections quarterly throughout the period.
In January 2022, the commission released the first version of completed, valid and invalid registration derived from the data covering June to December 2022.
A total of 1,126,359 registrants representing 44 per cent of the 2,523,458 completed registrations were found to be invalid and subsequently deleted from the register as at Jan. 14, 2022.
NAN reports that 10 months later, INEC on Nov. 12, 2022 also published the preliminary national register of voters in its 8,809 Registration Areas (Wards) and 774 local government area offices nationwide.
NAN also reports that for the first time in the nation’s electoral history, INEC published the entire register on its website.
NAN reports that the purpose of the display, the commission announced at the time, was to enable Nigerians scrutinise the preliminary register and make claims on misspellings of names, personal details or missing names on the register so that such errors can be corrected.
It was also done to enable citizens raise objections about ineligible persons, for example, those below 18 years, dead persons, foreigners, or those making false claims.
This was so that they could be deleted from the register in line with the commission’s established rules.
On Jan. 11, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu presented the final National Register of 93,469,008 eligible voters to the nation.
Before arriving at the final figure, the commission received and treated only 53,264 objections from across the country.
The objections were based on the prevalence of ineligible persons on the register, by virtue of age, citizenship or death. (NAN)