Nigeria voter registration kit stolen at airport

File picture of Murtala Muhammed international airport, Lagos, Nigeria The theft of voter registration kit raises questions about security at Nigeria's main international airport

Armed robbers have stolen new voter registration equipment in a heist at Nigeria's main international airport.

An electoral commission spokesman said laptops and cameras were among items taken shortly after they arrived at Lagos's Murtala Muhammed airport.

The equipment was to have been used to register Nigeria's estimated 70 million voters before elections next year.

Commission spokesman Kayode Idowu said the theft would not substantially affect these plans.

The Nigerian authorities have promised to hold free and fair parliamentary and presidential elections in April.

In order to do so, former voter registration lists were discarded after complaints that many of the people named on the lists were fictitious or dead.

The commission signed contracts worth more than $230m (£145m) to buy the voter registration technology.

It is not known how much equipment was stolen in the robbery but Mr Idowu told Associated Press: "It is not as if it has derailed the program."

The incident also raises questions about security at Murtala Muhammed airport.

It was from this airport that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab started his journey to Detroit in December 2009 - armed with explosives hidden underneath his clothes.

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