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Distribution of PVCs in yuletide & new year plot to disenfranchise millions of voters – Intersociety to INEC


….Says 26 Days PVC Distribution And Use Of Electoral Wards As Collection Centers Totally Unacceptable

…Stresses that distribution must be extended to Feb 24, 2023 and Nigeria’s 176,846 polling units a must option

…Recipients of new PVC recipients must include 9.5m new voters and 20m denied PVCs since 2019

By Chibuike Nwabuko

Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) has said that the plan by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC’S) deliberately fixed the PVC collection during yuletide of 2022 and New Year of 2023 is meamt to frustrate and disenfranchise millions of registered voters from picking their PVCs

This is also as the group has condemning in strongest terms the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission to shrink the distribution of PVCs to only 26 working days. The Commission’s decision is also dictatorial, inconsiderate and totally unacceptable.

Similarly, the group rejected Choice Of 8,809 Electoral Wards As PVC Collection Centers by the INEC.

The above were the positions of Intersociety as contained in a statement signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chair; Chinwe Umeche Esquire, Head, Democracy and Good Governance @ Intersociety; Chidinma Udegbunam Esquire, Head, Campaign and Publicity Department @ Intersociety made available to Sundiata Post.

Sundiata Post recalls that INEC had on Sat 3rd Dec 2022 announced “Dec 12, 2022 to 22nd Jan 2023” as dates for commencement and end of PVC collection in Nigeria.

The full statement by the group reads;

The grand implication of INEC’s announcement is that “PVCs can be distributed for a period of only 26 working days or less”. The ’26 working days’ was calculated and arrived at by Intersociety after deducting 14 days or two weeks of globally acknowledged and compliant ‘Christmas and New Year holidays’ governed by the principles of ‘blue law’ and ‘golden rules’. The deducted 14 days involves seven days of Christmas holiday or 24th to 31st Dec 2022 and seven days of New Year holiday or 1st Jan to 7th Jan 2023. The Golden Rules guiding these two are universally strong and compliant that important offices and major social activities are not only grounded but also the two seasons are occupied with social outings including meetings, religious and traditional activities, communal general meetings, naming ceremonies, marriage ceremonies, dedication of new houses, family visits/meetings, rest and leisure, inter-state travels, international holidays, conferences, exchange programs and medical tourisms and so on.

During the two periods, too, INEC top officials and their foot staffers are hardly found in offices and written correspondences meant for them hardly received and attended to.

Distribution Of PVCs In Yuletide & New Year Aimed At Disenfranchising Millions Of Voters

Intersociety makes bold to say that INEC deliberately fixed the PVC collection during yuletide of 2022 and New Year of 2023 so as to frustrate and disenfranchise millions of registered voters from picking their PVCs. This is more so when many Southerners residing outside their ancestral abodes travel home for the two globally acknowledged popular seasons or holidays. A sensible, reasonable and unbiased electoral umpire would have skipped the 14days and added or brought them forward into last week of January 2023 and third week of Feb 2023.

…Collection Must Be Extended To 24th Feb 2023: We at Intersociety hereby call on INEC to inexcusably extend PVC distribution and collection from 12th to 24th Dec 2022 and 9th January to 24th Feb 2023 using the country’s 176,846 polling units. This is more so when no law stops INEC from issuing PVCs to their owners or a registered voting citizen from picking his or her PVC before an Election Day.

Rejects Choice Of 8,809 Electoral Wards As PVC Collection Centers

By magisterially designating the country’s 8,809 electoral wards as “distribution or collection centers for PVCs, INEC has continued to showcase its demigod posture as a ‘dictatorial and incorrigible electoral umpire’ behaving anyhow outside the law and morality. For purposes of time constraints created by the Commission and growing insecurity, INEC must take PVCs to their owners using polling units that are much closer to their homes. This is more so when the same INEC had consistently run discriminatory and dual PVC distribution methods between North and South, using ethnic and religious sentiments since 2015. Otherwise how come the physically challenged persons in the North including the blind, the deaf and dumb, the amputees and the cripple and the underage children of six years old to 11 years old under the country’s Juvenile Socio-Legal System have maximally received PVCs? Were they not given PVCs through their ward, district, family and religious heads or was it done using strenuous electoral wards or local government areas’ direct collection being strictly enforced in the South?

INEC Spent 120 Days To Print 9.5m PVCs And 26 Days To Issue Them To Their Owners

The INEC’s desperation and bent on rigging the Feb 25, 2023 Presidential Poll are becoming clearer day in day out. This is to the extent that the Commission spent whopping four months or 120 days in printing 9.5m PVCs and designated only ’26 working days’ for distribution of same. It must be remembered that INEC has been engaging in one form of poll rigging plot or the other hiding under inexcusable excuses; to the tune of application of over 27 of such plots during 2022 CVR. On 31st May 2022, the Commission magisterially and dictatorially shut down the online voters’ registration portal and refused to open it till the end of the CVR exercise on 31st July 2022. On 2nd August 2022, the Commission announced the shutting out of between 7m and 11m successful online registrants, claiming that “it was done to enable the Commission print PVCs and distribute same ahead of time”.

On 31st July 2022, INEC abruptly terminated the 2022 CVR, four months behind the legally provided 90 days before the 2023 General Elections. The Commission claimed that “it did so to enable it print and distribute PVCs from Sept 2022”. The abrupt termination of the CVR by INEC, four months behind deadline was on 22nd and 26th Nov 2022 declared “illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amounted to disenfranchisement of millions of Nigerian citizens of voting age” by two Federal High Court judgments. To make the matters worse, four months have gone with whopping 29.5m PVCs still not distributed. The illegality and unconstitutionality of INEC’s abrupt termination of the CVR and related misconducts were clearly stated in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1343/2022 (salmat Anajat and three others v INEC) and suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/1335/2022 (Chief Mike Ozekhome and Abubakar Damisa v INEC). INEC had also in August 2022 promised to get PVCs of all the newly registered voters in May-July 2022 ready for collection by Nov and till this day of 5th Dec 2022, the PVCs are nowhere to be found. As if the above was not enough, the Commission gravely went and engaged in massive destruction of 18.2m of the 27.7m newly registered voters; turning blind eyes, till date, on no fewer than 20m ineligible identities flooding the National Register of Voters-comprising 8m underage children and 2m illegal migrants that were registered between 2015 and 2022 as well as 4m fake names and 6m stolen identities or stolen and diverted PVCs.

20m Ineligible Identities In The Voters’ List As Greatest Threat To Issuance Of PVCs

It must be clearly pointed out that the greatest threat to issuance of PVCs to 29.5m registered voters in Nigeria ahead of the 2023 Presidential Poll is the independently uncovered and estimated 20m ineligible identities categorized above. INEC had recently disclosed that “over 20m PVCs arising from 2019 CVR have remained uncollected”. It is also the position of Intersociety that “the Feb 25, 2023 Presidential Poll results may be polluted by estimated 18m ‘dead votes’ arising from the 20m ineligible identities in the Voters’ List”. In March 2015 Presidential Poll, for instance, out of over 30m total vote scores, 13.8m came from criminal voting including manual and mass thumb-printing of ballot papers; out of which Buhari was credited with 10.2m and Jonathan 3.6m. Therefore, it is correct to say that the very reason why INEC has continuously developed cold feet in mass enfranchisement of millions of Nigerian citizens of voting age through CVR and PVC distribution exercises is as a result of the padding and flooding of the Voters’ List with 20m ineligible identities. In other words, the more genuine PVCs are issued to Nigerians, the chances of the 20m ineligible identities being dwarfed at polls and the lesser number of PVCs issued, the more opportunity for the use of the 20m ineligible identities to rig the Feb 2023 Presidential Poll. This also explains why INEC has kept mum after the 21st Nov 2022 additional busting of millions of ineligible identities by CUPP in at least 22 States.

Distribution Of PVCs Must Include 9.5m New Voters And 20m Denied PVCs Since 2019

Critical stakeholders involved in Nigeria’s 2023 Presidential Poll process must mount sufficient pressure on INEC to ensure that the PVC distribution fixed for 12th Dec 2022 includes 20m registered voters denied PVCs since 2019. Such pressure must also ensure that the Commission makes available at designated collection centers all the PVCs in its custody since 2019. This must be done outside the confines of ethnic or religious influences and considerations. Situations whereby PVCs belonging to citizens are hoarded or withheld or converted and diverted to malicious third parties under INEC using religion and ethnicity must not be allowed especially during the PVC distribution. INEC must also be compelled to find replacement for all PVCs missing or stolen or destroyed under its custody and issue them to their original owners. The globally applicable personal data or identity card laws also provide for replacement of the same by the issuing authorities. This is so when such data including INEC’s PVCs got missing from the custody of the issuing authorities or Nigeria’s INEC.


For: International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety)

Emeka Umeagbalasi, Criminologist/Researcher

Board Chair @Intersociety

Chinwe Umeche Esquire, Head, Democracy and Good Governance @ Intersociety

Chidinma Udegbunam Esquire, Head, Campaign and Publicity Department @ Intersociety.

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