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INEC rejects NIN as voter registration begins June 28

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[FILES] INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu. Photo; TWITTER/INECNIGERIA

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said its earlier promise to start the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise in the first quarter of 2021 is no longer feasible. It, therefore, said the assignment, across the 774 local councils of the federation, would begin on June 28.

The commission also declared that the National Identification Number (NIN) is not mandatory for the exercise.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who made the announcement at a media briefing in Abuja yesterday, said the project would span for one year, ending in the third quarter of 2022.

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He said emphasis would, for now, be on Anambra State where more centres would be established in view of the governorship election scheduled for November 6 this year.

The INEC boss said the CVR in Anambra would be suspended in August 2021, to enable the electoral umpire clean up the data for the state and print the Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) for the registrants.

Yakubu said the commission projected to register between 16 and 20 million Nigerians, adding that over 2,500 registration centres would be made available for the exercise.

On the use of NIN, he said such policy was not recognised by the country’s electoral law, the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act.

He said: “NIN is not going to be mandatory for the simple reason that we are operating on the basis of the law establishing INEC. Section 10 of the Electoral Act lists the means of identification to be presented by prospective registrants for the purpose of registration. These include birth certificate, national passport, National Identity Card or any other document that will prove the identity, age and nationality of the applicants.

“The NIN is only one of the means of identification provided for under Section 10 (2) of the Electoral Act. We can’t single that out and make it mandatory. All the other requirements are requirements of the law and we must apply the law equally.”

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