By NBF News
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Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday dismissed the claims of the Action Congress of Nigeria that the Direct Data Capturing (DDC) machines could not detect multiple registration by voters in the ongoing registration.

It said ACN's position came from an uninformed entity.

The Commission explained that the DDC machines could actually detect multiple registration with the accompanying software when networked.

The Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Kayode Robert Idowu, told Daily Sun that it was quite true that voters could momentarily jump from one registration unit after registering to another to register again successfully, pointing out that INEC had never said multiple registration would be detected at the point of registration.

He explained that it was possible for the DDC machines not to detect that because they were not yet networked at the level of registration at the centres but that at the end of the day, when the data were being uploaded and updated for cross checking at the ward, local government, state and federal levels with the use of a software already procured for that purpose, every multiple registration would be detected.

According to him, it is for this purpose that all the fingerprints were being taken at the points of registration.

His words: 'You see, the way it works is this, the software that INEC is using has a capability of detecting multiple registration and the chances of multiple or double registration escaping is one in five million. You can work out the percentage yourself. Now with software loaded in each of the machines without network, you cannot register twice on one machine and because the machines were not networked, it is possible that a registrant can go from one machine to another to register and when all the machines are uploaded and aggregated the same software will be run on the data and at that level, the multiple registration will be detected and the person will be apprehended.

'Actually, it will be done in stages. At the ward level the software will be used and the data will be updated, at the local government and states levels, and also at the national level. Even if you are crazy enough to go from one state to another to register, when that data comes to the national office and the software is used on it, it will be detected. There is no way anybody can do multiple registration.

'INEC has never said that there was a network to detect multiple registration. The reason is obvious. You cannot network the machines when about 40 per cent of those machines were deployed in areas where there is not even GSM, not to talk of internet. Nigeria is such a huge terrain and there are some terrains that are so remote that they don't even have GSM.

So how do you network?
'So, the Commission has decided to make the strategy simple in that each center has a register and the machine is programmed in each centre not to register twice in each centres. Now, if people decide to go and register in another centre that data will be uploaded and it will be consolidated and aggregated across the ward at the ward level; it will be aggregated at the local government level, state level and national level for the national register where that software will also be used.

'There is no way double registration that will not be detected. So, anybody who feels that if he registers here he can go another place to register is wasting his time and he is also hazarding himself to be apprehended and in any event that is the fastest way of disenfranchisement because when the data is aggregated and the registration is detected, it will be neutralised and the person will eventually get apprehended. So that is the way it works. The chances of multiple registration not being detected and escaping the machine is one in five million and politicians can be rest assured by that when data is aggregated.