The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday constituted an investigative panel to probe the recent cases of possible underage voting in Kano State.
Footages were recently circulated which showed some voters who were obviously children participating in the local council elections conducted across Kano State last weekend.
Following nationwide outrage that sparked fears of irregularities in the coming general elections, the electoral umpire initially responded that it should not be blamed for the brazen violations of electoral law because it didn’t conduct the Kano council elections.
But while INEC was procedurally correct that Kano State Independent Electoral Commission conducted the election and should be held responsible for alleged abuses, critics blamed INEC officials for registering people who have not attained the age of maturity to begin with.
The Nigerian electoral law requires that a voter must be at least 18 years of age.
INEC is the only statutory body that registers voters and keeps the database of certified Nigerian electorate.
The investigative panel will start work next week, INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu said on Friday.
The constitution of the panel was announced by Mr. Yakubu at the election preparation workshop underway at the Intercontinental Hotel in Lagos.