The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to extend voting rights to inmates in order to exercise their civil rights as citizens.
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, stressed that “Something like that is happening in our continent. Two countries, Kenya and South Africa, have extended that right.
Prof Yakubu pointed out on some issues to look at.
According to him, “Will inmates vote outside the prison or inside the prison? Are we going to set-up polling units inside the prison or will the polling units outside? We believe that some of them are already registered voters. The majority of them are actually awaiting trial, so they may not be registered voters. If they are registered voters, what they will do is to transfer their registration. Will they transfer their registration to the correctional centres?”
“Will political parties be allowed to campaign inside the correctional centres? This a matter that you need to advise the Commission. Will observers and media be allowed access to the correctional centres on Election Day? Will INEC officials be granted access to the correctional centres for voter education?This a matter that we need to discuss”, he added.