By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday updated Nigerians on the procedure for the collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) and the prosecution of persons arrested for illegal possession of PVCs.
The Commission which said it has developed a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), assures of its determination to make the collection of PVCs as seamless as possible.
The electoral umpire disclosed this in a statement signed by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye Esq made available to Sundiata Post in Abuja.
The statement reads in full:
UPDATE ON PERMANENT VOTERS’ CARDS (PVCs) AND PROSECUTION OF OFFENDERS
The Commission met today, Saturday 26th November 2022, and deliberated on a number of issues, among them the date and procedure for the collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) and the prosecution of persons arrested for illegal possession of PVCs.
Update on PVC Collection
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 holding in Lagos from 28th November to 2nd December 2022 involving all the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) from the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
At the end of the retreat, the Commission will release the dates as well as the detailed procedure for the immediate collection of PVCs nationwide.
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.
Prosecution of Offenders
In the last couple of weeks, the Nigeria Police has arrested some individuals found to be in illegal possession of voters’ cards in some States of the Federation. In one case, the Police has concluded 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 who 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 has 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.
Festus Okoye Esq
National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee
Saturday 26th November 2022