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INEC ‘confirms’ registration of underage children to vote in northern Nigeria

It may not have been just rumours that the electoral body in Nigeria have been in the business of “unintentionally” registering underage children to vote in the North.

The long rumours of registration of underage children to vote in the northern part of Nigeria by INEC may have been confirmed to be true by INEC itself.
In a single tweet by the official twitter account of the body, pictures showed some people queued up to get registered to be eligible to vote in the coming 2019 elections, and among those in line to get registered are children that are evidently below the age of 18, which is the official legal age of prospective voters in Nigeria.
The underage voting scandal broke earlier this year when photographs and videos of kids voting surfaced on the social media a few days after the Kano council polls. It sparked allegations that that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had perfected plans to rig the next general elections, a situation that compelled INEC to set up an investigative panel.

On 13 March, it was reported that some of the recommendations of the eight-man panel set up to investigate the scandal may be rejected or watered down by the INEC Board as a way of deflecting responsibility for the anomaly.
Two days after the panel began sitting, KANSIEC Chairman, Professor Garba Ibrahim Sheka, claimed that the images and videos of primary school-age voters in circulation did not originate from Kano, arguing that card readers were not used in the council polls in the state, in an attempt a cover-up.

Professor Sheka’s denial was echoed by INEC, as clamour grew for the commission to audit its register. The commission itself had reported incidences of underage registration in Taraba State. The attempt at a cover-up gave the commission a breather until 25 March when the panel submitted its report, a document that was not made public.

This sparked agitation for a release of the full report, which Nigerians expected to confirm or repudiate allegations that the election register has underage voters. However, INEC kept insisting that it did not conduct the council polls, a fact already know.

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