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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Double registration mess: Nwannenna wants Gov. Bello to contest INEC claims

The former president of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) Dr. Chris Nwannenna, has urged the Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello to contest the claims of double registrations by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), reports ITRealms.

Reacting to the weekend reports of INEC confirmation of Gov. Bello’s double registration, which INEC said he would be prosecuted in a law court, Dr. Nwannenna, who is also the chief executive of Condata Systems, a software engineering firm, advised Gov. Bello to contest this allegation especially if he is sure that he did not commit this electoral infringement.

According to Nwannenna, a fellow of NCS, a number of biometrics systems deployed in the country have made it easy to fake double registration of innocent people.

“That is why, even with biometrics, we still have ghost workers, ghost voters, ghost pensioners, etc,” he said.

Pointing out that for the records, this has absolutely nothing to do with ‘Harmonisation’ but with the technologies with which the biometrics system is built.

“With more people getting more knowledge of biometrics it is easier now to detect when a biometrics system has been abused,” he said.

Therefore, Dr. Nwannenna earnestly advised Governor Bello to challenge this allegation which could be a sophisticated blackmail.

“I am sure that a number of people are available to assist him to do this, even for free. It might turn out to be the beginning of the end of this frequent fraudulent activity in Nigeria,” Nwannenna said.

He insisted that onus is on INEC to substantiate the fact, stressing that Bello is seen twice in the voters' register does not mean that he actually registered twice.

“One or both of them could be ‘spoof’. It is in the effort to stop this kind of fraud in Nigeria that led Condata into biometrics development. In my era of consultancy in this area I came face to face with this evil,” he said.

ITRealms recalled that INEC last weekend, confirmed that Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, engaged in double registration during the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise in his state, thus effectively violating the Electoral Act.

Also, the commission’s National Commissioner & Member, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu, said following reports of alleged double registration by the governor of Kogi State in the on-going CVR exercise, and set up a panel of investigation into the involvement of staff in the matter.

INEC explained that the initial report submitted by the panel was referred to the Appointment, Promotion and Disciplinary Committee, which made recommendations to the commission.

However, the commission said that it was constrained from acting on Bello’s culpability because he currently enjoys “immunity from prosecution”, but had ordered the dismissal of two of its personnel involved in the matter for gross misconduct.

It also ordered the compulsory retirement of an electoral officer involved in the illegal act for gross misconduct.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Pix: Dr Nwannenna and Gov. Bello of Kogi.

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