The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, says plans are ongoing with the Nigeria Prisons Service to enable prisoners to vote in the 2019 general elections.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, according to Punch, disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday at a dialogue session with the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room Dialogue which is a coalition of over 70 civil society organisations in Nigeria.
Naija News gathered that the development comes three years after a Federal High Court in Benin, Edo State, ruled that prisoners in Nigeria have the right to vote in all elections conducted in the country.
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Yakubu said, “We have already engaged the Comptroller-General of Prisons and we have statistics on the number of prisoners nationwide and the number of inmates that are registered. We are looking at the possibility of creating polling units in the prisons and to enable some categories of prisoners to vote.
“Ghana does it but there are some categories of prisoners who by the nature of crimes committed lose the right to vote. Whatever we can do to open up the process to ensure that as much as possible Nigerians are given the opportunity to vote, will be done.”
Yakubu added that the commission would ensure that the forthcoming Anambra gubernatorial election scheduled to hold on November 18 is conclusive, also condeming the wrongful substitution of names of governorship candidates by two political parties ahead of the election.
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He lamented that the high level of non-compliance to the Electoral Act by the political parties was a threat to the electoral system.
The INEC boss who declined to name the parties involved in the wrongful substitution of candidates’ names, warned that if the act was eventually challenged in court, the whole election could be voided on that note and the nation will be made to bear the financial consequence of conducting another election.