The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has debunked report that children under the age of 18 participated in the February 10, 2018 elections across the local government areas in Kano State.
The electoral umpire stated that the allegation was proved invalid after it conducted proper investigations, which revealed that the pictoral depictions of childhood voters represented a “clear manipulation of images to create a “fake” story.”
The investigation also revealed that images in one case presented of children voting were actually children on the queue for food in an Internally Displaced Persons, IDP camp in Borno State.
The INEC team traced the picture to one that has been online since 2015, which was framed to be minors who were reported to have been on a queue to vote.
The commission report said that “the picture presented as “evidence” of under-aged voting in Kano was taken during the distribution of relief materials at an IDP Camp in Borno State three years before the 2018 Kano local government election.
Explaining the reason for the investigation, the INEC report deposed: “On Saturday 10th February 2018, the Kano State Independent Electoral Commission, KANSIEC conducted elections for 44 Chairmanship and 484 Councilorship constituencies in the state.
Immediately after the election, pictures surfaced on the social media of minors (persons below the statutory age of 18 years) apparently voting in the election in violation of the provision of Section 12 (1) of the Electoral Act.
“Although the election was conducted by KANSIEC which is an independent constitutional body, many political commentators immediately linked the election to INEC, arguing that since the voter register is compiled by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC it should be held responsible for the prevalence of ineligible persons (popularly referred to as under-aged) on the national register of voters.
“In view of the fact that a credible election is directly related to the credibility of the voter register, INEC set up a Committee to investigate the allegation, particularly the link (if any) between under-aged voting in the local government election and the national register of voters.”