The Independent National Electoral Commission has refuted the claim that it was considering suspending the use of the biomodal voter accreditation system for the conduct of the 2023 elections.
Reacting to claims by the Coalition of United Political Parties, the CENI said on Thursday (September 15th) that while it encourages and respects the rights of citizens to demand accountability, caution should be exercised.
“The Commission’s attention has been drawn to a report of a press conference by the Coalition of United Political Parties on the voter register for the 2023 general election.
“The Commission recognizes and respects the right of citizens, as individuals or groups, to demand an explanation from public bodies, including the INC, and to hold them accountable.
“However, it is always important to exercise caution so that such interventions do not inadvertently sow doubt in the minds of the public, thereby diminishing public confidence in the electoral process.
“Nigerians will recall that on July 31, 2022, the Commission suspended continuous voter registration to commence additional activities that will culminate in the inclusion of new registrants in the final voter register for the 2023 general election.
“It is important to reiterate that no new registrants have yet been added to the voter register for the 2023 general election or will be included until these additional activities are completed in accordance with law.
“To avoid any doubt, we recall the main components of these activities. First, the Commission carries out a complete cleaning of the automated biometric identification system of registration data by examining each file.
“Based on the Electoral Law of 2022, any file that does not meet all the criteria for inclusion as stipulated in article 10, including the appearance in person of the registrant at the place of registration with a proof of identity, age and nationality and our trade rules requirements of sufficient fingerprints and clear images will be invalidated.
“Further, pursuant to section 19(1) of the Elections Act 2022, following the ABIS and cleanup, the Commission will appoint a period of seven days during which the register will be released for public scrutiny of objections and complaints.
“Finally, only after the cleanup and claims and objections are complete will the final recording be released.”