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INEC deadline: Seven million Nigerians on risk of disenfranchisement over uncompleted registration

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…Only 12,298,944 Nigerians completed registration into CVR — INEC

….As SERAP kicks

By Moses Adeniyi

No less than seven million (7,000,000) Nigerians, who commenced the registration process into the Continuous Voter Registration exercise (CVR)  but were unable to complete their registrations, risk being disenfranchised, should the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) stand by its deadline which closed registration process on Sunday, the 31st of July, 2022.

While there have been resounding calls on INEC on the need to discontinue its deadline to permit the large population falling under the uncompleted voters registration from being disenfranchised, INEC is yet to disclose its stand on such calls.

The Commission, on Tuesday, disclosed that over seven million Nigerians who carried out their voter pre-registration online could not, at the close of the deadline on Sunday, complete the process at physical centres.

Recall that the commission, in June 2021, commenced the CVR exercise via its online portal, where Nigerians provided their biodata and required documents, after which applicants would visit INEC designated centres to complete the process physically, with a biometric capturing.

According to a report released by the commission, 10,487,972 Nigerians carried out their pre-registration online.

The Commission stated that only 3,444,378 Nigerians representing 32.8 percent, completed the process at a physical centre.

The 7,043,594 persons accounted for over 67 percent of those who began their registration process online, but could not obtain a voter card, which implied that they will not be able to vote in the 2023 general elections.

Meanwhile, INEC said a total of 12,298,944 Nigerians completed their voter registration; 8,854,566 of which were persons who did their registration entirely at a physical centre.

Considering the huge deficits, stakeholders have expressed likelihood of an extension as the Commission had earlier did, after prevailing calls.

Recall that INEC had initially fixed June 30 as the deadline for the CVR ahead of the 2023 elections, but extended it till July after a federal high court in Abuja stopped the commission from ending the voter registration.

In reaction to the most recent deadline,  The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has again made a case for the need to discontinue the deadline which would leave over seven million Nigerians, who had shown interest through their voter pre-registration online process out of the scheme.

In a statement issued on Tuesday via its verified Twitter handle, SERAP maintained that the Commission must urgently allow the applicants complete their registration so that they can vote in the 2023 elections.

The Commission’s offices across the Country had been flooded by prospective Nigerians who are desirous of completing the registration process  few days to Sunday when it closed the registration process.

However, Nigerian NewsDirect found out from official sources that the reason for the closure was to permit INEC ample time to process the data of voters which have been collated for a reliable database for credible preparation towards the General Elections.

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CBN disowns notice on cryptocurrency transactions

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The Central Bank of Nigeria says a notice circulating on social media about the risk of cryptocurrency is fake news.

The Apex disclosed this via its official X account, urging the public to disregard the purported notice for all Deposits Money Bank, Non-Bank Financial Institutions, and other Financial Institutions.

The notice reminded “Institutions that dealing in cryptocurrencies and facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited”.

However, CBN said the content doesn’t originate from it.

“This information does not originate from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“For authentic updates, please visit the official website,” CBN wrote.

Recall that the CBN governor, during the Bank’s 293rd Monetary Policy Committee meeting, said over $26 billion funnelled through Binance.

On Tuesday, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, said the anti-graft agency froze about 300 accounts to ensure the safety of the foreign exchange market.

The Nigerian government had continued clamping down on Binance and other cryptocurrency platforms amid efforts to defend the Naira in the foreign exchange market.

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Biden says U.S. will begin sending weapons to Ukraine

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U.S. President Joe Biden wants to start delivering of weapons and equipment to Ukraine this week.
The president said this shortly after the U.S. Senate approved billions of dollars in new aid for the country under attack from Russia.
“I will sign this bill into law and address the American people as soon as it reaches my desk tomorrow so we can begin sending weapons and equipment to Ukraine this week,” Biden said.
By passing the legislative package, which also includes billions of dollars in aid for Israel and Taiwan, the U.S. Congress has demonstrated the power of American leadership in the world, Biden added.
“We stand resolutely for democracy and freedom, and against tyranny and oppression.”
There is an urgent need for support for Ukraine, which is being subjected to relentless bombardment from Russia, Biden said.
The bill also contains aid for Israel, which has recently faced unprecedented attacks from Iran.
“This critical legislation will make our nation and world more secure as we support our friends who are defending themselves against terrorists like Hamas and tyrants like Putin,” Biden said.
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NSCDC deploys personnel to JAMB CBT centres in Anambra

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), said it has deployed personnel to ensure a hitch-free 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Anambra.

The state Commandant, Olatunde Maku, stated this after monitoring the conduct of the exams across CBT centres in Awka, on Wednesday.

Some of the centres visited are, Integral Development Konsult on Enugu/Onitsha Expressway, White House in Awka, JAMB Centre located inside JAMB office in Amawbia and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

Others are St. John of God ICT Hub, Awka and Kachukwu Ventures Staff Development Centre, behind Government House in Awka.

The examination centres take candidates in three batches: 7 a.m., 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Maku said that the synergy between NSCDC and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) had yielded positive results in reducing exam malpractice.

He said that the monitoring of the centres would continue till the end of the examination period, to ensure a seamless conduct of the exercise and promote transparency.

“We are firm in our determination to protect critical national assets and infrastructure including JAMB centres.

“Which was why the NSCDC deployed personnel to JAMB CBT centres in the state to ensure security and so far they have been professional in carrying out their mandate,” he said.

Maku advised candidates writing the 2024 UTME to be law abiding and avoid being in possession of prohibited or incriminating items during the examination.

He warned unauthorised persons against loitering around designated exam centre, adding that anyone found wanting would be arrested and prosecuted.

Also speaking, Mrs Jema Iheme, JAMB Coordinator, Anambra state, commended NSCDC for their support and for ensuring security of candidates and staff at the exam centres.

Iheme said that the swift response of NSCDC to emergencies and enforcement of exam rules and regulations was contributing to a smooth and secured exam process so far.

NAN also reports that about 1.9 million candidates are expected to write the JAMB UTME, which commenced on April 19 and would end on April 29.

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