NIN not mandatory for voter registration –INEC

INEC dismisses LP’s call for Mahmood Yakubu’s sack The LP in a press conference on Thursday, had asked the international community to take “punitive action” against Yakubu and other top officials of the electoral body over the conduct of the 2023 elections. The party said the action should come as a result of final observer group reports on the elections. Speaking with NAN, Rotimi Oyekanmi, chief press secretary to INEC chairman, said the “reasons adduced by the LP in making the latest and familiar demand are not only illogical but also ridiculous”. Advertisement He said INEC accredited local and international election observers under specific rules and regulations, noting that under these rules, they were required to submit their respective reports to the commission. “Such reports may or may not include their recommendations. Therefore, it is not within the remit of any election observer whatsoever to indict INEC. They are to observe, make recommendations if they have any, but never to indict,” Oyekanmi said. “In the same manner, it is also not within the LP’s jurisdiction to demand the dismissal and prosecution of the INEC chairman over the outcome of an election in which the party fielded candidates. Advertisement “Interestingly, arising from the outcome of the same 2023 general election, the LP has now produced one state governor, eight senators, 35 house of representatives members and 38 members of the state houses of assembly.” Oyekanmi added that it was strange that a political party in court challenging the outcome of the presidential election could still openly discuss the matter at a news conference, knowing fully that doing so is subjudice. “The LP is one of the 18 political parties registered and being regulated by INEC in Nigeria,” he said. “The party will do well by restricting itself to activities permitted under the rules and regulations governing the conduct of political parties.”
Yakubu, INEC chairman

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the National Identification Number (NIN) is not mandatory for voter registration.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the clarification while fielding questions from journalists in Abuja on Thursday.

Yakubu said that NIN was only a means of identification for registration as listed in the Electoral Act.

“I want to make this important clarification. NIN is not going to be made mandatory for voter registration.

“This is for a simple reason that we are operating on basis of the law establishing INEC.

“Section 10 of the Electoral Act lists identifications to be presented by prospective registrants for the purpose of voter registration to includes birth certificate, national passport, national identity card,” he said.

The INEC chairman said the list also included a driver’s licence or any other document that would prove the identity and age of the applicant.

He said that the NIN card was only one of the means of identification provided for, under section 10 sub-section 2 of the electoral act.

“We cannot single that out and make it mandatory. All the other requirements are requirements of the law and we must apply the law appropriately.

“If you have your national ID card we will register you on presentation of the card, but we will not make it a mandatory means of identification for the exercise.

“Since the law, the electoral act does not make it mandatory, it is only one of the many means of identification required,” Yakubu said.

He also said that INEC had announced June 28 for the resumption of its suspended Continuous Voter Registration across the country, with new technology.

He said that the commission would replace its Direct Data Capture Machine introduced in 2011 for voter registration with a new technology called, INEC Voter Enrolment Device.

The INEC boss explained that with the new innovation, prospective registrants could only apply and go to the nearest registration centre for data capturing to complete the exercise.

Yakubu further said provision had been made for extra registration centres across the country to avoid overcrowding at registration points for those that want to do physical registration.

On the COVID-19 pandemic, he said that 1,000 registration centres had been added to the existing 1,446 for the exercise to reach as many people as possible.

He, however, reminded prospective registrants that it was an offence to register more than once, saying, “citizens should register only once.