Display claims and objections took place across INEC offices in the 774 LGAs and registration centres nationwide, from March 29 to March 31, 2018. According to Section 19 of the Electoral Act 2010 (As amended 2015), the Independent National Electoral Commission is mandated to [by notice, appoint a period not less than 5 days and not exceeding 14 days to display a copy of the voters’ register for each Local Government. Area Council or ward for public scrutiny. During this period any objection or complaint in relation to the names omitted or included on the voters’ register or in election to any necessary correction is to be raised or filed. The Claims and Objection are to be addressed to the Resident Electoral Commission through the Electoral Officer in charge of the Local Government/ Area and such claim is to be made on the form prescribed by INEC].
Display of the Preliminary Register of Voters (PRV) involves INEC publicly displaying the PRV to give the public the opportunity to review the PRV. The PRV is the initial list of voters who registered during the registration exercise from April 27, 2017 to March 22 2018. Claims and objections involves determining if there are potential problems with the PRV and bringing the attention of INEC to the infractions. The display claims and objection exercise are intended to provide opportunity for voters to review the preliminary register of voters and notify the Commission of any discrepancies, wrong information or fraudulent or illegal registration in the register of voters. Such claims and objections are verified and reviewed by INEC thereby enhancing the quality and credibility of the final register. This also ensures that prospective voters who register are not disenfranchised.
WTV fielded citizen observers in 19 states for the display. The observers were also in all area councils of the FCT.
Overall, reports from WTV Citizens observers show that display, claims and objections happened from March 26 to March 31, 2018. WTV Observers were deployed to observe the process on Thursday, March 29, 2018 and their reports showed that while the preliminary voters register were displayed conspicuously in most of the INEC registration centres, many citizens did not show up to crosscheck their information. In addition, there were no INEC officials in some registration centres to attend to the few people that were seen cross-checking their information. Political party agents were also not present to scrutinize the preliminary voters register.
YIAGA Africa’s WTV deployed a total of 21 citizen observers for the display, claims and objections at the INEC offices/registration centres spread across 19 states and the FCT. All observers were thoroughly briefed on the aspect of the exercise to observe and report.
WTV observers were instructed to observe on Thursday, March 29, 2019 at one INEC office or registration centre close to their place of residence. On the day of the observation, WTV observers sent in their reports based on a comprehensive checklist to the WTV Data center located in Abuja.
WTV received a total of 21 reports from its observers during the display claims and objections process.
Observations and Findings
The Display Claims and Objection as important as it is, recorded a very poor participation of citizens in the process. A major challenge that enabled this poor participation was the poor communication and publicity of the exercise informing citizen about the exercise and educating them about the procedures and importance of the exercise to ensure a credible register of voters. Accordingly, citizen participation was abysmally low and INEC officials were not seen in some of the centers that WTV observers visited.
Our findings reveals that:
- Display of Preliminary Registration of voters (PRV) was not done in all INEC offices or registration centers. In some registration centers like the Kuje INEC office, the PRV were seen littered around the centre.
- There was low turn of registrants to verify and confirm their information.
- The display happened only at INEC LGA offices or at registration centers that were operated for up to a period of three (3) months.
Download Full Report Below