INEC extends voter’s registration by 60 days

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Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has extended the ongoing continuous voter registration by 60 days in line with the resolution passed by the House of Representatives.

Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Electoral Matters, Hon Aisha Dukku, gave the update during Wednesday plenary in response to the point of order raised by the Minority Leader, Hon Ndudi Elumelu.

Hon Elumelu who expressed concern over INEC’s activities frowned at government’s agencies’ disregard to various resolutions passed by the House.

He said: “We passed a resolution on INEC by way of consideration extend the tenure of continuous voter’s registration, which they had wanted to stop. And I’m also aware that the court of competent jurisdiction also gave a judgement to the effect that they are also urging INEC not to stop or end the continuous registration.

“But from the feelers that I am getting, it’s like INEC is even threatening to appeal against that judgement, jettisoning the resolution that was passed on this floor. So, Mr Speaker, I will like the chairman of the House Committee on Electoral Matters to educate us on the efforts that they have made. The second leg of the motion is for them to follow up and ensure compliance, that is the point of my order,” Hon Elumelu said.

On his part, the Speaker, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, who presided over the session, explained that he had interaction with the Chairman, House Committee on Electoral Matters.

“I met with the Chairman, Committee on electoral Matters, Hon Dukku and she has briefed me and I told her she will brief the House today on how far she’s gone with the assignment that was given to her by the resolution of the House last week. The resolution was for the extension of the voter’s registration.”

In her presentation, Hon Dukku who affirmed that the Committee had a meeting with the INEC Chairman, who agreed to comply with the House resolution.

“Mr Speaker, as I earlier told you we met with the INEC chairman yesterday (Tuesday) based on the referral to our committee we thought it was urgent so we invited INEC and Professor Yakubu Mahmood was with us throughout yesterday afternoon and part of what we agreed to was that he has already agreed to extend but for the court injunction he is to appear on the 29th of June.

“That notwithstanding, he said it has been guaranteed that it has to be extended, and not just extending but also add additionally done during weekends. He has agreed to that and that he is going to make a statement very soon to that effect.

“That extension also involves additional machines, additional ad-hoc staff and of course he’s going to collaborate with the security agencies to make sure that that is also done. So all the prayers of the motion were approved and all members of the committee were there including the mover of the motion,” she said.

While ruling, Hon Gbajabiamila who commended the committee said if INEC appeals the extension may be stalled but if it does not appeal the judgement, the 60 days’ extension as proposed by the House will be effected.