Independent National Electoral Commission has set up a panel to probe alleged underage voting in Kano State will, on Monday (tomorrow), begin examining 4,975,701 voters on the register.
The eight-member committee is headed by a National Commissioner, Abubakar Nahuche.
Other members of the committee are a National Commissioner, Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu; the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Mike Ingini; Adamawa State REC, Kassim Geidam; Mr. Yakubu Duku of the Electoral Operations Department, Mrs. Rukayat Bello of the Voter Registry Department, Mr. Paul Omokore of the ICT Department and Mr. Jude Okwuonu.
It was learnt that Information Technology experts at INEC would obtain soft copies of the register used for the local government election organised by the Kano State Independent Electoral Commission and begin examining the pictures.
The Chairman of Kano SIEC, Prof. Garba Sheka, told one of our correspondents during an interview on Saturday that members of the INEC committee would visit his office on Monday (tomorrow).
He stated, “INEC officials will come on Monday. When the committee arrives, we will give them the register. They gave us soft copies and we will give them back the soft copies given to us. We will also give them hard copies we produced. They have a lot of work.
“They will go through it and sort out the children; if there are any, they will remove them.”
Sheka, however, maintained that children did not vote in the recently concluded local government election in which the All Progressives Congress cleared the 44 chairmanship seats in the local government areas.
He fingered members of the opposition for being the brains behind the rumours of child voting.
The KANSIEC boss added, “We are reviewing the pictures with our software. Most of the pictures were 2015 election pictures. It is more or less like blackmail but we expected such because before the election started, the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) members opted out and they are the major opposition party that could have won something if they had contested.
“There was the Kwankwasiya faction of the APC, which was not allowed to contest. So, they will definitely want to discredit the exercise. At least, 85 per cent of all the pictures we reviewed on the child voter issue were 2015 election pictures.”
Sheka insisted that the register used in the local government election was the same one used by INEC in 2015.
He said, “The task before INEC now is whether the children, who voted in 2015, were duly registered. A presiding officer can do away with a register and keep giving children ballot papers. It could be that the children were registered. These are all possibilities.
“So, the task before INEC is for them to go through the register if they can identify the faces of children because there are pictures attached to all the names; so, there may be children on the register or not.
“The reason why INEC is very worried is because the same criticisms levelled against KANSIEC will be the same levelled against them in 2019 if action is not taken.”
The KANSIEC boss also agreed with former INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, that it would be difficult to purge the register of underage voters because Nigeria lacked the records of its citizens.
Sheka added, “Today, a child of 15 could look close to 30 especially if they are tall. In Nigeria, we have a problem with detecting age since we don’t have records. So, those who look very young are the only ones that can be detected.”
The post INEC Sieves Five Million Underage Kano Registered Voters appeared first on LATEST NIGERIAN NEWS BREAKING HEADLINES NEWSPAPERS.