Otiji Iyiogwe

INEC to punish 23 officials for engaging in multiple registration

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For engaging in multiple registrations of voters during the last voters’ listing exercise, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has commenced the in-house sanctioning of 23 officials.
The records of the commission showed that some of the 23 officials attempted to register some fake voters 40 times, INEC National Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed yesterday during the third quarterly meeting with political parties, in Abuja.

Ahead of next year’s general election, the electoral umpire also declared that no fewer than 93.5 million Nigerians are eligible to participate in the exercise as voters, noting that 12.29 million Nigerians successfully completed their registrations as new voters in the just concluded Continuous Voter Registration CVR.

Yakubu added that after a rigorous clean-up of the data using the Automated Biometric Identification System, ABIS, over 2.78 million were identified and removed as ineligible registrants.

Consequently, he said the commission has identified 23 of its registration officers for severe sanctions having attempted to engage in multiple registrations of Nigerians.

Yakubu’s disclosures came as the Inter-Party Advisory Council IPAC passed a vote of confidence on him for his innovations to reshape the electoral process.

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The political parties specifically hailed the deployment of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, and the INEC Result Viewing IReV Portal in the recently concluded elections in the country and for next year’s general election.

23 officials for punishment

Speaking at the meeting, the INEC chairman said: “The Commission deployed thousands of diligent staff for the CVR exercise and the vast majority of them discharged their duties conscientiously. Unfortunately, a few of them did not. The fictitious registrations were carried out by some of our Registration Officers involved in the field exercise and could easily be traced. Each registration machine is operated using an access code tied to a dedicated e-mail assigned to staff.

“There is therefore an audit trail that gives the total number of persons registered by each official involved in the registration exercise. In some cases, some of them made as many as 40 attempts or more to register one fake voter. As a result, the Commission has so far identified 23 Registration Officers involved in this unethical conduct and disciplinary action has commenced. We shall continue to protect the integrity of our voters’ registers. It is pivotal to credible elections. It is also a national asset and easily the largest database of citizens in Africa and one of the largest in the world.”

No going back on BVAS, IReV

Yakubu again declared that the decision to deploy BVAS and IReV for the forthcoming polls is cast in stone.

He said only last week, the INEC commenced the training of master trainers on election technology to ensure a seamless process, adding that from Thursday, INEC will commence the same training at the zonal level and subsequently train all its ad-hoc staff for the 176,846 polling units nationwide.

“Let me once again reassure Nigerians that there is no going back on the deployment of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, for voter accreditation. There is no going back on the transmission of results to the INEC Result Viewing Portal IReV in real-time on Election Day.

“There will be no Incident Form that enables ineligible persons to vote using other people’s Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs, during elections. We are committed to ensuring that the 2023 General Election is transparent and credible, reflecting the will of the Nigerian people,” he

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