2023: No Nigerian deliberately denied registration – INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it did not deliberately deny prospective voters the opportunity to complete their registration.

“Again, the Commission made the information public. This is what some people are now using to say that they were denied the opportunity when in reality they failed to either complete the online enrolment or appear physically at the designated centres to complete the process,” according to Festus Okoye, INEC’s National Commissioner in charge of voters education.

Okoye was in a statement Monday reacting to claims by some Nigerians that the electoral body denied them the opportunity to complete their online pre-registration during the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).

The commissioner added; “Therefore, it is clear that no Nigerians were deliberately denied the opportunity to complete their online pre-registration.”

Last week, INEC explained that only 3,444,378 completed the registration process at a physical centre out of 10,487,972 Nigerians who carried out their pre-registration online.

Also, some aggrieved Nigerians dragged INEC before an Abuja Federal High Court in Abuja for “failing to give them and other seven million Nigerians adequate time and opportunity to complete their voter registration after they have carried out their registration online.”

No date has been fixed yet for the hearing of the suit.

Mr Okoye further said that prospective voters were given enough time to complete their registrations, adding that the deployment of technologies was also to ease the process.

“To set the record straight, Nigerians may recall that on 28th June 2021, the Commission introduced the online pre-registration of voters. By doing so, citizens were given the opportunity to commence the registration online and then book an appointment at their convenience to complete the physical Biometric Capture at designated centres.

“It was a novel idea leveraging technology to ease the registration process. This was in addition to the walk-in option at physical centres, where Nigerians can commence and complete their registration simultaneously without going through the online pre-registration procedure,” Okoye explained.