Underage voting: INEC committee submits report

As commission warns political parties in Niger against campaigning

committee, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The committee set up by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to investigate the allegations of underage voting that trailed the Local Government Area elections conducted by the Kano State Independent Electoral Commission, has submitted its report.

The committee, in a statement by INEC Director of Publicity and Voter Education, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, in Abuja, submitted its report to the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, on Friday, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reported.

It quoted Mr Ahmed Nahuche, chairman of the committee, while presenting the report to Yakubu, as saying the committee consulted with critical stakeholders through visitations and interactive sessions.

“The interactive sessions included Civil Society Organisations, political parties, print and electronic media organisations, as well as security agencies.

“The committee, in the course of consultation and interactive sessions, received pictures, video clips, reports, documents and presentations from the stakeholders.

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“It immediately embarked on thorough review and analysis of these materials in order to ascertain the actual connection with KASIEC LGA elections.

“The committee also examined the social media reports of pictures and video clips that triggered the report of the alleged participation of underage persons in the KASIEC LGA elections as a key area of focus for the investigation,’’ he added.

Nahuche advised that the state Independent Electoral Commissions and political parties to work towards improving electoral logistics to enhance the credibility of their respective processes and procedures.

Receiving the report, Professor Yakubu commended the committee for discharging the assignment diligently.

“The credibility of the voter register is very important to the commission; the outcome of the investigation, in the interest of transparency, would be shared with the general public,” he stated.

Meanwhile, INEC has ordered all political parties in Niger State to refrain from  organising campaigns, adding that anything short of that contravened the 2010 Electoral Act.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Niger State, Professor  Samuel Egwu, and made  available to  newsmen  in Minna, the state capital, on Friday.