INEC uncovers 93,000 ghost voters in Anambra

By The Citizen

AHEAD of its review of the voters' registration for the November 16, 2013  Anambra State governorship election, chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega yesterday revealed that the commission has discovered 93, 526 multiple registrants in the voters' register.

He also defended the registration of the All Progressive Congress (APC), saying it met all the conditions for registration.

Assuring that the commission would  ensure that it eliminates  ghost voters in 2015 polls, the INEC chairman stated that before the 2011 general elections, the commission uncovered 870,000 cases of multiple registrations nationwide, adding that the electoral offences commission will commence the prosecution of offenders in Anambra State.

Jega, who spoke yesterday at the stakeholders' conference with media professionals and civil society organisations on voters' register optimisation plan in Abuja, noted that the figure represents about five per cent of the total voting population in the state.

He stressed the need for elections to be reformed and citizens votes made to truly count, adding that good governance will continue to elude the nation if the people's votes were not made to count in the election of leaders.

'We have prosecuted over 200 people; we have asked our legal department in Anambra State to commence prosecution of some of these multiple registrants, because we want it to be an example before we commence the continuous voters' registration, that the register has come down by five per cent from what was registered in 2011, is because we removed all multiple registrations in compiling the register.

'Under aged registration is one of those very serious crimes that regrettably occur because of first of all, lack of vigilance by security and INEC staff and also most importantly, largely because of community connivance. Some time, communities organise and compel, threaten our registration officers to register underaged registrants,' he regretted, adding that INEC is going to partner with the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) to jointly commence prosecution of more people who go contrary to the law.'

On the eligibility of candidates from the recently registered APC to contest the Anambra gubernatorial election, Jega noted that the provisions in Section 84 (c) of the Electoral Act qualifies the new party to field candidates for the November 16 governorship election in the state.

'Is clear to us that the APC met all conditions for its registration, we are satisfied that we have done what is right under the law,' Jega noted.