ANAMBRA, NOVEMBER 9, 2017 – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied ownership of the reported voter register, which was intercepted by the Police in an undisclosed hotel in Awka, Anambra State.
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Victor Ike Oye, had raised an alarm over what he described as a Police-intercepted lorryload of sensitive election materials, allegedly meant for the November 18 governorship election in the state.
But INEC, in a statement issued yesterday by the Anambra State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Nwachukwu Orji, said that it has come to the notice of the commission that the Police recovered large quantities of what looked like the register of voters meant for the November 18th governorship election in Anambra State from some individuals in a hotel in Awka, Anambra State on November 6, 2017.
The commission noted that it is not clear whether these two alleged incidents are related, while maintaining that it was not aware of any missing sensitive election materials and had not received any official report in that regard.
INEC, which reassured the public of its transparency and readiness to conduct a free and fair election in the state, pointed out that it was not possible for sensitive materials meant for the governorship election to be delivered to a hotel room, since there were laid down processes of delivery of election materials, which involve strict monitoring by party agents, election observers, security agencies, and the media.
The commission said that the materials allegedly found in a hotel room in Awka do not belong to it, adding that it had carefully examined the materials that was intercepted and concluded that it was produced by corrupt politicians from the electronic register that was given to the political parties by the commission and not the official Register of Voters that the commission has prepared for the election.
“On the alleged printing of the register of voters, Section 20 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) provides that INEC shall publish the register of voters not later than 30 days before an election. To that effect, it is customary for the commission to provide the register to political parties presenting candidates for an election.
“This was done in a widely publicised event in Awka on 18th October 2017, during which all the parties present collected the electronic register. However, it is pertinent to note that the register given to political parties by INEC does not have the same details as the one used for elections. Indeed, several fields and security features are not included in the register given to political parties,” INEC said.
“The commission has had the opportunity to compare the register recovered by the Police and the one meant for the election. It is clear on examination that what the Police recovered appears to have been printed from the electronic register given to the political parties, and not the official register of voters for the governorship election,” it said.