INEC News Bulletin
ALLEGED KANO UNDER-AGE REGISTRATION: INEC SETS UP 8-MEMBER INVESTIGATATION COMMITTEE
In keeping to its promise to fully investigate the allegation of underage registration in the wake of the recently conducted Kano State Local Government election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has raised an 8-man high powered Committee to investigate and report back on the matter within two weeks.
The Chairman INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu made the disclosure, when he received the Executives of the Forum of State Independent Electoral Commissions of Nigeria (FOSIECON), led by its Chairman, Justice Igbozurike Akomas, at the Commission’s Headquarters in Abuja, Yesterday.
The Committee is headed by National Commissioner, Engineer Abubakar Nahuche; with National Commissioner, Barr. (Mrs) May Agbamuche-Mbu; Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs), Barr. Mike Igini; Barr. Kassim G. Geidam; and INE Techincal Staff, Yakubu M. Duku; Mrs Rukayat Bunmi Bello; and Mr. Paul Omokore, as members; while Mr Jude Chikezie Okwuonu will serve as Secretary of the Committee.
The Committee was tasked to: “To ascertain if the voter register requested by Kano State Independent Electoral Commission was actually used in the Local Government Elections; Investigate the widespread report that persons below the statutory age of 18 years voted using INEC’s register; Engage with Stakeholders on issues related to the use of the voter register in the election; and to make any other recommendations which in the opinion of the Committee are relevant to its assignment’’.
Prof Yakubu however emphasized that the Committee was not going to Kano to investigate the conduct or outcome of the Local Government Election conducted by the Kano State Independent Electoral Commission (KASIEC) as “these are outside the constitutional and legal responsibilities of INEC”, he said.
The INEC Chairman used the occasion to reassure FOSIECON of the Commission’s willingness to continue to partner with SIECs and explore new areas of cooperation.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman FOSIECON, Justice Akpomas, canvassed for greater independence and financial autonomy for SIECs, saying “today any person who visits the INEC website sees a clock counting down to the 2019 general elections. It is a reflection of how INEC Legal Framework has given her capacity and independence to carryout long term plan towards elections. This we believe is also achievable for SIECs if INEC supports the struggle of SIECs towards financial independence”.
2019: INEC, FACEBOOK TO EXPLORE WAYS TO ENGAGE CITIZENS FOR PEACEFUL POLLS
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Social Media giant, FACEBOOK, are looking towards a robust partnership that would promote peaceful elections through systematic and well-designed Voter Education and sensitization campaigns.
This indication came when a team from FACEBOOK, led by its Public Policy Director for Africa, Mrs Ebele Okobi, paid a courtesy visit to INEC in Abuja, Yesterday.
The INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu said “election for us is a huge responsibility that comes with a huge risk. A good election I have always said is a recipe for peace and progress; while a poorly conducted election could lead to violence, and part of it is the perception some people create on the social media”.
Professor Yakubu harped on the large followership the Commission enjoys on the FACEBOOK platform; and stressed the potentials it portents for engaging citizens, disseminating information and dispelling fake news for peaceful elections.
He noted that the FACEBOOK platform has become one of the veritable means of interacting with the public. “I think more people now get their news from the social media than the traditional media,” he said.
The INEC Chairman appreciated FACEBOOK for pulling down fake pages of the Commission on the platform and expressed joy that the social media giant has put in place mechanisms for checking fake news.
Earlier, in her remarks, Ebele Okobi, said ‘’with a membership base of over 2.1 billion world over and 18 million from Nigeria, FACEBOOK has recognized that the thing that people are sharing most about is about elections, about politics, people care very deeply about how they are governed, about who governs them and other political issues”.
“Knowing that people are coming to the platform to talk about what they care about, we have developed a politics and government programme essentially to understand how our platform is being used not just during elections but also to help governments engage with their citizens and also to see what are the risks related to our platform in elections, what are the opportunities and what programmes can be put in place to address the risks”, she added.
Mrs Okobi, said the company was open to ideas on how best to improve its services and help improve the electoral processes in Africa and in Nigeria especially.