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2023: INEC extends voter registration indefinitely

.To shut down nomination portal July 15

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.As Electoral Offences Commission bill passes 2nd reading in House of Reps

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Thursday ordered Resident Electoral Commissioners nationwide to sustain ongoing voter registration exercise ‘pending further directives”.

 

This was contained in a statement by Mr  Festus Okoye, national commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee at the Commission.

 

The statement titled:

‘Continuation of the Continuous Voter Registration’ read:

“The Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) will continue nationwide, and all the Resident Electoral Commissioners and Electoral Officers have been directed to continue with the exercise pending further directives from the Commission.

“The Commission has consistently reiterated its resolve to continue to provide electoral services to the Nigerian people and register all eligible Nigerians that are interested in registering. The Commission has yet again deployed additional machines to areas of pressure and will continue to serve the people of Nigeria.

 

“Furthermore, the case at the Federal High Court relating to the terminal date of the CVR came up yesterday Wednesday 29th June 2022, and based on the request of the Commission, the Court granted an accelerated hearing and adjourned the matter to Monday 4th July 2022 for hearing of the substantive matter. The Commission will give an update after court hearing next week.

 

“Issuance of Certified True Copy (CTC) of Documents:

“The Commission has been inundated with applications for CTCs of various documents. So far, 186 requests for CTCs, some running into hundreds of pages, have been processed. The Commission is working round the clock, including weekends, to attend to all such requests. We wish to assure political parties, aspirants, candidates, and all applicants for CTCs of documents that their applications will be treated expeditiously and will be issued in earnest.

 

Uploading of List and Particulars of Nominated Candidates:

 

“By the Timetable and Schedule of Activities released by the Commission, Political Parties that conducted valid Governorship and State Assembly primaries shall upload the list and personal particulars of their nominated candidates between 1st and 15th July 2022. We urge political parties to scrutinize the list and personal particulars of the candidates they propose to sponsor at the election to avoid any mix-up and duplication of names. Political parties are advised not to wait until the last day before uploading the list and personal particulars of their candidates.

 

“The Candidates Nomination Portal will shut down at 6pm on 15th July 2022. Political parties that have challenges with uploading documents should contact the Commission’s Help – Desk, through the dedicated telephone lines or contact the candidate nomination centre at the Commission’s headquarters”.

 

However, Electoral offences commission bill passes second reading in House of Reps

 

Members of the House of Representatives made a further push for electoral reforms and credible polls in the country on Thursday by taking a bill to establish an lectoral offences commission through the second reading.

 

The bill sets out the framework for investigating, prosecuting and punishing electoral offenders.

 

Ballot-snatching, thuggery, vote-buying, arson and killing often accompany polls in the country, with offenders mostly escaping punishment.

 

However, lawmakers said on Thursday that this ugly trend must change with the proposed law.

 

The long title of the bill reads, “A Bill for an Act to Establish National Electoral Offences Commission and the Electoral Offences Tribunal to Provide for the Legal Framework for Investigation and Prosecution of Electoral Offences for the general Improvement of the Electoral Process in Nigeria; and for Related Matters”.

 

It was sponsored by Rep. John Dyegh, Rep. Aishatu Dukku, Rep. Francis Charles Uduyok and Rep. Kingsley Chinda.

 

Members, who contributed to the debate on Thursday, all spoke in support of the bill.

 

For instance, the Chief Whip of the House, Rep. Mohammed Monguno, said the bill would guarantee transparent elections.

 

He stated: “This bill is relevant to the quest for Nigeria to attain a truly democratic status in the comity of nations, especially against the backdrop of the clamour to deliver a free, fair and accountable electoral process.

 

“There is the need for us give Nigerians transparent elections.”

 

On her part, Dukku observed that “electoral crimes subvert the democratic wishes of the people”, urging colleagues to support the bill in order to guard the wishes of the people by prosecuting all electoral offenders.

 

“This why this commission is necessary to ensure that votes are jealousy guarded and that at the end of the day, they reflect the true wishes of the people”, she stated.

 

The bill passed second reading in a unanimous decision and was referred to the Committee on Electoral Matters for further legislative action.

 

 

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