A senior advocate of Nigeria, Mba Ukpezu Ukweni SAN, has called on Federal Government agencies including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to prosecute all those involved in the registration of underage person as voters, asserting that the illegality amounts to corruption.
Ukweni, who was speaking on Thursday, lamented the continuous registration of underage people, which he said, was negatively portraying the nation’s electoral process.
“INEC official who indulge in registration of underage people should be brought to book and prosecuted for corruption. The age of voting is 18, it is wrong for INEC officials to go to the extent of registering underage.
“This is part of corruption. Corruption is not just somebody taken money; anything that is done improperly in order to affect the proper cause of thing is corruption. Registration of underage people is corruption, so it should be investigated.
“Government should investigate and ensure that people who do that are brought before the appropriate agency for their prosecution. The registration of underage people shows clearly that INEC is not doing it work properly because it is INEC that registered those people.”
Ukweni further said Nigeria is the only country that does not have accurate population figure, “I was even thinking this voter’s registration will be able to assist us know or have an idea of what the correct population is.
“A country that does not know it correct population cannot plan, it is like a family, you budget for your family on the basis of the number of people you have in the home, even in terms of feeding, in terms of school fees and in terms of necessity. So if we don’t know our correct population, there is no how we can plan properly, that is the problem we are having.”
On the endorsement of candidates for elections, Ukweni said that the people involved are only expressing their opinion, stating that every other person has his or her opinion but it is the political parties that can come up with the procedure of selection or production of candidate of the party in conjunction with INEC.
“Whatever, they are doing, that is their own, they are not producing candidate for the party. The law has spelt out the procedure for emergence of candidate of political party. Political parties have to produce their candidate, endorsement does not automatically mean that the person has become a candidate,” he stated.