As uproars continue after Saturday’s local government election in Kano state, the Independent National Electoral Commission has promised to launch a probe into the circumstances surrounding the incidents of underage voting across the 44 local councils in the state.
INEC claim it had provided the state commission with the voter register used for the elections, but speaking Friday in Lagos at a workshop on the implementation of the Election Project Plan, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said the commission wasn’t the voter register it gave the Kano SIEC was used.
The Commission is concerned because an election draws its credibility from the voter register. To register as a voter, Section 12 (1) of the Electoral Act gives certain conditions, which include citizenship, residence and the attainment of the mandatory age of 18 years.
According to him, recent reports of violations by underage persons following the local government elections in Kano State are deeply disturbing.
“It is true that the State Independent Electoral Commission had requested INEC for a copy of the voter register. I can confirm also that a soft copy of the register was made available to the state,’ the INEC boss said.
According to him, the voter register in Kano State is the one used for the 2015 General Election. In July 2016, INEC used the same register to conduct a State Assembly bye-election in Minjibir Constituency which has 78,210 registered voters spread across 126 polling units clustered in 11 Registration Areas (Wards).
“In that election conducted by INEC, no single incidence of underaged voter was recorded. What therefore happened in the last Local Government election conducted by the State Electoral Commission? Was the voter register actually used or not? “ He asked.
“We wish to assure Nigerians that the matter will be fully investigated. A National Commissioner from INEC will lead a team to Kano next week involving technical staff of the Commission drawn from the Voter Registry (VR), Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and the Electoral Operations (EOps) Departments for an immediate and comprehensive investigation.
He also promised the commission will share the findings of the investigation with Nigerians.