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INEC to accredit over one million voters, warns against card cloning

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Faction threatens to sue commission for contempt

Ahead of the governorship election slated for November 26, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday disclosed that over one million voters would participate at the polls.

The National Commissioner in charge of Publicity and Voters Education, Mr. Solomon Shoyebi, made the disclosure at the publication of the voters register in Akure, the state capital.

He said 28 political parties would participate in the election, adding that 80 per cent of the eligible voters are youths between the ages of 18 and 40 years.

Shoyebi explained that smart card reader would be used at the polls and urged the electorate to adhere strictly to all electoral guidelines.

Also, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Olusegun Agbaje, alleged that there were allegations of cloning of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC).

He said: “We have heard that people are cloning cards to cheat during the election. But cloned cards would not work because the card readers would detect them.

“Protect your cards and don’t sell them because doing so amounts to committing a criminal offence. There would be enough card readers for the polls so that if any of them malfunctions it would immediately be
replaced.”

On the allegation of compromise by the commission, he said: “INEC has no candidate for the coming election. The commission would not do anything to reduce the credibility that it has built over the years.”

Meanwhile, the Modu-Sheriff’s faction has threatened to charge the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for contempt, if it fails to recognise Jimoh Ibrahim as the party’s candidate.

The former national Secretary of the party, Prof. Wale Oladipo, said this yesterday in an interview in Abuja.

He said his faction would continue to press for the recognition of Ibrahim even though there were efforts to reconcile aggrieved members of the party.

Oladipo urged the commission to obey the court judgment and publish his name to avoid unnecessary distraction.

He added that if it fails to comply, it would go to court to seek the imprisonment of officials involved in the disobedience.

He said: “INEC is an umpire and a creation of the law and must obey court judgment. The law has pronounced Ibrahim as the candidate of the PDP in the forthcoming Ondo State election and INEC has no choice than to abide by the order.

“In the forthcoming election, we are urging the INEC to be completely neutral. We will do anything within the ambit of the law to defend our party and its candidate Jimoh Ibrahim.”

Oladipo urged the commission to explain to the public the reason it had not complied with the court ruling, since it was a defendant in the suit.

“INEC ought to do the needful, otherwise the court would invoke form 48 and 49 to punish the relevant officials,” he said.

On the effect of the leadership crisis affecting the polls, he said the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction and that of Modu-Sheriff were committed to the ongoing reconciliation.

“It is better for any PDP candidate to emerge as winner in the election than to lose to any other party. But we are not going to sacrifice the rule of law on the altar of reconciliation,” he said.



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