Lagos lawyer and activist, Chief (Barr.) Malcolm Omirhobo has staged a one-man protest at the Electoral Independence Commission (INEC) Headquarters, Abuja against the purported plan of the electoral body to use National Identification Number (NIN) as a data base for the conduct of 2023 general election.
Omirhobo who addressed journalist at the front of INEC headquarters, Abuja urged the Commission not to use NIN as a data base for the Nigerian elections because it had been compromised and do not represent the true demographic of Nigeria and therefore inappropriate.
The one man protester who presented a protest letter titled, “Re: NIN – A COMPROMISED AND INAPPROPRIATE DATA BASE FOR THE CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA” to INEC in which the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, National Assembly, Senate President, Clerk, National Assembly, Speaker, House of Representatives, National Identification Management Commission (NIMC) and National Population Commission were copied argued that the procedure for obtaining NIN runs contrary to sections 25, 26 and 27 of the Nigeria constitution,
He pointed out that it will be illegal, unlawful,criminal and unconstitutional for the Chairman of INEC not to take heed.
BELOW IS THE LETTER OF PROTEST
CHIEF MALCOLM EMOKINIOVO OMIRHOBO.
No. 121, Okota Road, Isolo, P.O. Box 7215, Ikeja, Lagos.
17th May, 2021.
Independent National Electoral Commission
Plot 436 Zambezi Crescent
RE: NIN – A COMPROMISED AND INAPPROPRIATE DATA BASE FOR THE CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA .
I am a concerned patriotic Nigerian citizen and on that basis, I write you this letter for myself and for my fellow Nigerian citizens in respect of the above subject matter.
My letter is necessitated by your recent public comment at the inauguration of the house of representatives committee on 1999 constitution review held at the National Assembly Complex on Thursday 29th of April, 2021 wherein you intimated Nigerians that we have just about 855 days left for the 2023 general election and that the presidential election has been fixed for February 18, 2023.
At the said occasion you spoke about the various innovations through the use of technology which the commission has adopted in conducting elections, and restated its commitment to credible polls.
In view of your wishes to conduct a credible election, I urge you not to use the National Identification Number (NIN) as the data base for elections in Nigeria because it has been highly compromised and does not represent the true demographics of Nigeria and therefore inappropriate.
The basis of my argument is that the procedure for registration of the NIN violates the provisions of Sections 25, 26 and 27 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended). The exercise gives no room for the profiling of Applicants and the verification of the documents submitted by them unlike in the case of the international passport and the Bank Verification Number (BVN) where documents submitted by the Applicants are verified via interview and they are made to provide Referees or Guarantors but in the case of NIN there is nothing of such.
All it takes to secure NIN is for an Applicant to walk into any National Identification Management Commission (NIMC) Enrollment Center or its agents, fill and submit the NIMC form and without any interrogation, interview or verifications of the documents submitted by him, his biometrics (ten finger prints and facial image) are captured and bingo such person automatically becomes a Nigerian citizen even though he is an illegal alien.
Applicants are not profiled by the Police, the Department of State Services or the Immigration Service. The process of obtaining NIN is not thorough or water tight. The personnel receiving data are not trained for the job neither are data submitted by Applicants verified to their residence and to the Local Government level to ascertain their veracity.
There is no gain pretending that the Nigerian Government new visa on arrival policy has encouraged economic refugees from all over Africa especially the Sahel region to enter and settle in Nigeria and in the process acquired Nigerian citizenship through the back door by obtaining NIN in violation of the provisions of Sections 25, 26 and 27 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended).
Our porous borders have not help matters as day in day out Africans from other African countries enter into Nigeria because of our poorly manned borders and corrupt border guards. Many of these illegal alien now have the NIN and are ipso facto Nigerian citizens. The negative effect of the abuse of the ECOWAS protocol on free movement on the registration exercise of the NIN in Nigeria cannot be over emphasized.
The Chief argument put forward by the Nigerian Government for the registration of NIN is to help the Government identify terrorist from law abiding Nigerian citizens and also to prevent terrorists from entering into Nigeria. Unfortunately and regrettably, this argument has been overtaken by events because the terrorists who are now killing, maiming, kidnapping, raping, sodomizing, dehumanizing, extorting and destroying the properties of Nigerians are already here with us, as confirmed by the President of Nigeria and top government functionaries. The terrorists are even in the government and may have even infiltrated into our armed forces and other security apparatus.
Also critical why the NIN must not be used in Nigeria for any purpose is the inability of the person in charge of its registration, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications & Digital Economy to clear himself of his involvement with terrorist sects like Al-Qaeda, Taliban, Boko Haram, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) and the failure, refusal and/or neglect of the Nigerian Government to make him defend himself. The Government has shielded and defended him, refusing to fire him, notwithstanding that the generality of Nigerians have lost confidence in the said Minister’s continue handling of sensitive data of the country.
Consequent upon the above, I am urging you not to use the NIN as the data base for elections in Nigeria because it is unacceptable to Nigerians and it will be criminal, unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional for you to do so on the grounds that it has been compromised big time and therefore an inappropriate data base for elections or any meaningful Government program in Nigeria.
Let wise counsel prevail.
CHIEF MALCOLM EMOKINIOVO OMIRHOBO.
cc: President, Federal Republic of Nigeria
“ National Assembly
“ Senate President
“ Clerk, National Assembly
“ Speaker, House of Representatives
“ National Identification Management Commission (NIMC)
“ National Population Commission