INEC talks tough on Yahaya Bello’s double registration, vows to sanction official

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has confirmed that Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi state, registered with the commission twice.

Solomon Soyebi, INEC national commissioner and chairman, information and voter education committee (IVEC), who said this in Abuja on Thursday, vowed that the staff who registered Bello the second time would be sanctioned.

He said while Bello’s first registration was done in Abuja on January 30, 2011, the second one took place at government house, Lokoja, on May 23.

Soyebi said the exercise was done outside the designated centre for the ongoing nationwide continuous voter registration (CVR).

A group, Kogi for Change, had first raised the alarm over Bello’s double registration, threatnening to sue him.

“It has come to the attention of INEC that Gov Bello of Kogi state registered as a voter for the second time on Tuesday May 23, 2017 in Government House, Lokoja, the state capital,” Soyebi said.

“His first registration was on January 30, 2011 in Wuse zone 4, Abuja.

“The governor’s double registration and doing so outside lNEC’s designated centres are both illegal.

“For the on-going continuous voter registration [CVR) exercise, INEC has designated a centre in each of the country’s 774 local government areas including FCT’s six area councils.”

The commission, therefore, dissociated itself from the governor’s action while it also pledged to take disciplinary action against its staff who did the second registration for Bello.

“We wish to make it clear that no INEC staff was authorised by the commission to re-register him or any citizen or to do so outside our designated CVR centres.

“The commission is taking disciplinary action against the INEC staff involved.

“As for the state governor, section 308 (l) (a) of the 1999 constitution (as amended], precludes lNEC from prosecuting him while in office.

“However, the commission wishes to state that it has cancelled his second and illegal registration forthwith.”

INEC said the second registration would be cancelled as electoral law and the commission’s guidelines make no exception for anyone to register more than once, and to register outside the designated centres.