INEC, Corrections Service Confer On Inmates Voting

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Nigeria’s electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigeria Correction Service (NCoS) have commenced discussion on the possibility of inmates in the nation’s Custodial Centers voting in 2023 or the near future in compliance with a court ruling in that regard.

Inmate voting rights, have been an issue since the 2019 election cycle, hence the meeting held at the headquarters of INEC between the electoral umpire and representatives of the Nigeria Corrections Service.

Haliru Nababa, the Controller General who was represented at the meeting by Assistant Controller of Corrections Daniel Odharo urged the Electoral Commission to work out how best to implement the ruling of the court on the voting rights of inmates in Custodial Centres can best be guaranteed.

Responding, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman of the Commission said the electoral body is fully in agreement with NCOs on the issue of inmates’ right to vote as it tallies with INEC disposition on inclusivity, adding that there are both legal and operational hurdles that have to be cleared.

He observed that already Kenya and South Africa have implemented the model saying the commission is committed to the whole idea in principle.

He explained that given the legal encumbrances and other operations especially as it has to do with the transparency of the whole, both bodies would begin engagement on the modalities towards achieving the goal if not in the coming election but shortly.

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