The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced the discovery of 62,698 persons who were already registered voters in Anambra State and still went ahead to register again.
Speaking today, October 11 at an emergency meeting with stakeholders, the INEC chairman, Professor Mahmud Yakubu said that such double or multiple registrations are invalid by law.
“We have archived these registrations and will not print new PVCs for them. “Their old PVCs remain valid and they can use them to vote at the Polling Units where they registered and probably voted in previously elections.”
Professor Yakubu recalled that before the end of the First Quarter of the CVR nationwide, INEC devolved the exercise to the Wards or Registration Areas in Anambra State.
He said that the end of registration was followed by the cleanup of the data to remove the names of ineligible registrants before the printing of the Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs).
“In Anambra State, a total of 138,802 citizens completed the registration, including applications for transfer and requests for replacement of lost, damaged or defaced PVCs as required by law.
“However, in the process of cleaning up the registration data, we discovered that many previously registered persons re-registered afresh. This is a testimony to the effectiveness of our new system for checking double and multiple registrations.”
The INEC boss said that the same cleaning up exercise is going on nationwide and that as soon as it is over, the Commission will provide further details to Nigerians on the situation in other States of the Federation and action to be taken on the matter.
“Let me remind all Nigerians that the law prohibits double registration. The Commission appreciates the fact that the deployment of technology, including the online pre-registration, has simplified the process and made voter registration in Nigeria easier.
“However, the same technology has also made it easier for us to detect multiple registrations.
“Consequently, the number of valid registrants in Anambra State at the end of the First Quarter of the CVR exercise on 5th September 2021 is 77,475. This figure has been added to the existing register of 2,447,996 eligible voters used for the 2019 General Election. “Accordingly, the number of registered voters in Anambra State now stands at 2,525,471. We shall provide a detailed breakdown of the figure for public information in the days ahead.
“I am glad to report that we have already completed 10 out of 14 activities in our Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the Governorship election. Only yesterday, we published the final list of candidates in our State and Local Government offices in Anambra State and simultaneously uploaded the same information to our website and social media platforms.”
Professor Yakubu said that all the 18 political parties participating in the election have been issued a soft copy of the updated register of voters at a meeting held in Awka.
“We are presently working on the printing of the PVCs. We shall use various channels, including e-mails and text messages, to contact the new voters to collect their PVCs before the election.”
He said that INEC had almost completed the recruitment of ad hoc staff for the election.
In all, he said, about 26,000 election duty staff are required even as he admitted that there are still some minor shortfalls.
He believed however that the Commission will complete the recruitment in time for their training scheduled to commence on 19th October 2021.
According to him, the training of other categories of staff, such as Electoral Officers (EOs) and Assistant Electoral Officers (AEOs) has been completed, while the training of Supervisory Presiding Officers (SPOs) will commence soon.