Nigeria: 2023 – INEC Delists 1.126m Voters Over Invalid Processes

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday, delisted 1,126,359 fresh registrants because their registration processes were invalid.

INEC said the registrants involved were those that registered between June 28, 2021 and January 14, 2022.

The commission said it was the duty of the federal government to bear core costs of Nigeria’s electoral activities, including the acquisition of sensitive and non-sensitive materials for all elections.

It disclosed that the collection of voters’ cards would commence end of October through early November.

INEC explained that the invalidation of the registrations and their subsequent delisting were as a result of the application of the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) used in the clean-up of the voter register.

The commission said the delisted registrants were part of several double, multiple, and ineligible registrants that were detected. It added that they included entries that failed to meet requirements.

In a statement by the National Commissioner in charge of Information and Chairman Voter Education, Festus Okoye, INEC said, “The commission informed Nigerians that out of the 2,523,458 (two million, five hundred and twenty-three thousand, four hundred and fifty-eight) fresh registrants that registered between 28th June 2021 and 14th January 2022, 1,126,359 (One million, one hundred and twenty-six thousand, three hundred and fifty-nine) records were found to be invalid and consequently delisted.”

The statement said Nigerians were aware that the clean-up of the register of voters, using the ABIS was on-going since the suspension of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) on July 31, 2022. It said and the ABIS, for the period – January 15 to July 31, 2022 – was almost completed.

It further said several double, multiple and ineligible registrants had been detected and invalidated, including entries that failed to meet the commission’s business rules.

INEC explained that it took the responsibility seriously, because a credible register was at the heart of electoral integrity.

It stated, “As soon as the process is concluded, the commission will provide the public with full information as usual. Thereafter, valid registrants will be added to the existing national register of voters before publishing same nationwide for scrutiny, claims and objections by citizens as required by section 19 (1) of the Electoral Act 2022.”

The commission assured Nigerians that a thorough process was being undertaken to clean up the registration data, reiterating that card collection would start soon.

Similarly, INEC appreciated the support of international development partners in enhancing training and capacity building of officials, stakeholder engagement for peaceful election, production and dissemination of messages for voter education, and sensitisation. It also appreciated such support in the areas of enhancing the active and meaningful participation of all segments of society in the electoral process, with particular reference to women, youth, Persons with Disability (PWD), and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and election conflict mitigation, management, and resolution.

INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu stated these at the close of Phase I and launch of Phase II of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (the EU-SDGN) programme. Yakubu said the closure of the Phase I and simultaneous launch of Phase II of the EU-SDGN programme was a further affirmation of the enduring commitment and support of the European Union towards strengthening democratic institutions and the consolidation of democracy in Nigeria.

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