INEC to release procedure for PVCs collection after Lagos retreat

...begins prosecution of persons in illegal possession of PVCs

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will release dates and detailed procedures for the immediate collection of Permanent Voters (PVCs) nationwide, after its planned retreat with all state Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in Lagos.

Festus Okoye, INEC national commissioner and chairman, information and voter education committee, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

Okoye said a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) developed to make the collection of PVCs as seamless as possible will be among the issues to be discussed and finalised at a retreat.

The statement reads in parts: “The commission met on Saturday, November 26, 2022, and deliberated on a number of issues, among them the dates and procedure for the collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) and the prosecution of persons arrested for illegal possession of PVCs.

“Following the end of the statutory period for the display of the register of voters for claims and objections, the commission is determined to make the collection of PVCs as seamless as possible. A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has been developed.

“This will be among the issues to be discussed and finalised at a retreat slated for Lagos from November 28 to December 2, 2022, involving all the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

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“The commission appreciates the patience and understanding of Nigerians, especially those who registered as voters or applied for transfer/replacement of their cards from January to July 2022. In making the cards available for collection, the commission is also working to ensure that the process is hitch-free.”

Okoye also disclosed that in the last few weeks, operatives of the Nigeria Police Force have arrested some individuals found to be in illegal possession of voters’ cards in some states.

“In one case, the police have concluded an investigation and handed over the case file to the commission, resulting in the successful prosecution of one Nasiru Idris at a Magistrate Court in Sokoto. He was found to be in possession 101 PVCs in contravention of Sections 117 and 145 of the Electoral Act 2002. He has been sentenced to a year in prison.

“Similarly, the police in Kano State have arrested a man who was found to be in possession of 367 PVCs. The suspect has been charged to court and the commission is pursuing his prosecution.

“The commission wishes to reiterate that it will continue to pursue all violators of the Electoral Act and ensure their diligent prosecution.”

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