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COVER STORIES

INEC Uncovers 299 Aliens’ Names In Voter Register

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday disclosed that it had found 299 names of aliens in the voter register.

INEC chairman, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, who stated this during a consultative meeting of the commission with security agencies under the auspices of the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), added that the electoral body had removed the 299 names from the voter register.

“I am happy to report that the commission has been able to remove from the voter register the names of 299 aliens who registered on the false pretence that they were Nigerians,” Yakubu said.

“This was done on the basis of the information received from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS). Registering to vote and actual voting in an election are the exclusive rights of Nigerian citizens to which aliens are excluded by law.”

The chairman added that INEC would continue to deploy NIS personnel to registration centres to ensure that only Nigerians register to vote in elections.

Yakubu further assured Nigerians that the electoral umpire was working hard to deliver on its mandate of conducting free and credible elections.

He said: “Today’s meeting is coming exactly 350 days to the commencement of the 2019 general elections, 133 days to the Ekiti State governorship election holding on July 14, 2018 and 203 days to the Osun State governorship election holding on the 22nd September.

“I wish to reassure the electorate that INEC and the security agencies will continue to work in line with the rules of engagement that guarantee the full rights of citizens during electioneering campaigns and actual voting on Election Day in a professional, non-partisan manner consistent with the provisions of the law.”

He noted that the commission was aware of the challenges faced by citizens in the ongoing continuous voter registration (CVR) and that registering to vote and actually voting are the exclusive rights of the Nigerian citizens by law, adding that the commission would respond within the limits of available resources to ensure that no one who is legally eligible is left out.”

He further revealed that the commission was doing a thorough clean up of the existing voter register to ensure that those who are ineligible, like foreigners and underage voters, are exclude from exercising the franchise.

“Under section 12(1) of the electoral Act, those who are below the statutory age of 18 years, aliens, persons registered in absentia, those barred by statute or regulations from registering as voters and persons who do not ordinarily reside, work or originate from the area covered by the registration are ineligible.

“We will continue to thoroughly scrutinise all prospective registrants in the ongoing exercise in order to ensure that only eligible registrants are registered,” he said.

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