The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Delta state has warned politicians to to desist from mobilising people who are already registered or pressurising our staff to engage in carrying out double registration.
The commission, therefore, reminded politicians and their parties of the new provisions in the Electoral Act 2022, which provides for N500,000 fine and 1 year jail without option of fine, as penalty.
Delta state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Elder Monday Udo Tom, who gave this warning on Wednesday at a meeting with electoral officers and party executives said that out of 140,000 registrants so far recorded in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) in the state, only 70,000 was valid while another 70,000 was thrown out as invalid registration.
He stated that the invalid registrations were due to double registration and incomplete information provided by registrants at the point of registration.
The Delta REC also noted that most politicians were acting in violation of the Act, with regard to campaigns, adding that the commission has noticed billboards of aspirants and consultation turned into platform for political campaigns.
He warned against embarking of early campaigns against the Electoral Act, adding that the Act is clear on when to commence campaign and hoped that political party executives would take this message to your members.
He stated, “Please permit me to also use this opportunity to draw your attention to a rather sad development in connect with the on-going CVR, where out of the 140,000 registrants processed at the back end of the Commission’s CVR Automated Biometric Identification System(ABIS) only 70,000 passed the Valid registration test, meaning that, the other 70,000 was rejected and thrown out as invalid registration.
“The commission’s interrogation of the reasons for this development points to double registration and incomplete information provided by registrants at the point of registration while the ICT will demonstrate in this meeting.
“While this development is further confirmation of efficiency of the INEC Voter Enrolment Devices (IVEC) as well as its back end structure to successfully weed out invalid registration, we are of the view that, the efforts put in place to register this 70,000 invalid registrants, amount to a waste of resources by both the Commission and those involved in mobilizing registrants.
“It is on this note, we appeal to politicians to desist from mobilizing people who are already registered or pressurising our staff to engage in carrying out double registration, moreso with the new provisions in the Act, which now provides for N500,000 fine and 1 year jail without option of fine, as penalty.
“It has also come to the knowledge of the Commission, that, most politicians are acting in violation of the Act, with regard to campaigns.
“We have noticed billboards of aspirants and consultation turned into platform for political campaigns.
“As you will be told in a short while, the Act is clear on when to commence campaign and we hope you will take this message to your members.”
“In a shortwhile, the Commission staff will go to the field to monitor Congresses and Primaries by the respective political parties, to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
“Before we mobilise to the field, the Commission is convinced of the necessity of seating together under one roof to look at the provisions of the law, with regard to nomination of candidates, the obligations of political parties and role of INEC, so as to minimise or eliminate misunderstanding, in the course of the Congresses and primaries.
“Let me emphasise that, the Commission is duty bound to do the right thing as provided for in the legal framework and guidelines for the conduct of congresses and Primaries, particularly with regard to what the law expects of the commission.
“This commission will adhere strictly without compromise to these provision in the law.
“In the course of this meeting, you will be briefed on provisions of the Act and Guidelines, as well as what is expected of you, that is the documents, if any you should furnish the Commission, to enable it carry out its lawful duty.
“To ensure the success of the series of congresses and Primaries, the commission has set up a Central Supervisory Committee, comprising members of the State Management Team and a hotline 09024276027, so as to maximise our capacity to guarantee a hitch free exercise.”