The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has announced that it is making arrangements with prison authorities to ensure that prison inmates exercise their franchise in the forthcoming 2019 general elections. INEC says prisoners will vote.
This disclosure was made known on Tuesday by the electoral body Chairman, Professor Yakubu Mahmood in a dialogue session with the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room Dialogue – a coalition of over 70 civil society organisations in Nigeria.
INEC says prisoners will vote
According to Mahmood, the commission is looking at the possibility of creating polling units in Nigerian prisons.
He further stated that certain categories of prisoners would not be allowed to vote depending on the nature of the crimes they committed.
Mahmood 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.
“So, we are looking at the possibility of creating polling units in the prisons and to enable some categories of prisoners 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, we will do so,” the electoral body Chairman noted.
In a related development, recall that Mahmood had disclosed that the commission would recruit no fewer than one million ad hoc members of staff for the conduct of the 2019 general elections.
While speaking to the Senate Committee on INEC last Wednesday, the Chairman noted that the ad hoc workers to be deployed for the polls, which will begin in 484 days, will be about 300 higher than the 700 engaged for the 2015 general elections. Read up his full statement HERE.