The seven million eligible voters who were unable to complete the Continuous Voter Registration have been identified by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Only 3,444,378 Nigerians, out of 10,487,972 who pre-registered online completed the procedure in a physical centre.
This figure is according to current information from INEC.
Festus Okoye, National Electoral Commissioner for Information and Voter Education for INEC, said that the majority of individuals unable to finish the registration process were Nigerians living abroad. He made this known in a statement on Tuesday, August 16, 2022.
The majority of the impacted registrants couldn’t have been able to present in person because they were situated overseas; therefore Okoye cleared the Commission of any wrongdoing.
He said INEC was ready to avail data relating to online registration to various groups or individuals; especially those accusing the Commission of disenfranchising the said seven million registrants from voting in the forthcoming 2023 general election.
He also urged groups to take out time to understand the processes and procedures of the Commission.
Okoye was reacting to the letter of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project dated August 13, 2022. The letter was signed by the Group Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare; asking INEC to allow seven million registrants complete the CVR or face legal action.
Clearing INEC of any wrongdoing, Okoye explained that the seven million registrants that SERAP alluded to were some in the diaspora; adding that they could not meet the legal requirements and threshold of physical biometric capture; as mandatorily provided for in section 10(2) of the Electoral Act 2022.
Furthermore, he said some registrants started the online pre-registration and abandoned same; before proceeding to carry out physical registration.
Additionally, he noted that; “SERAP filed a suit before the Federal High Court Abuja seeking an order of the court compelling the Commission to continue with the CVR 90 days to the Presidential and National Assembly Election.
”The Federal High Court dismissed their suit and affirmed the constitutional and legal right of the Commission to register voters, update the voters register, and revise the register of voters.
”The court affirmed the right of the Commission to fix terminal dates for the suspension of the CVR.
“The registration of voters is a serious and fundamental national assignment. It affirms and reaffirms the sovereign right of the applicant to a stake in the voters’ roll and ultimately to exercise his or her democratic franchise. This accounts for the activation of the online and physical platforms by the Commission.
”The CVR lasted for one year and was extended by an additional 31 days.”