By Monsuru Olowoopejo
Lagos—THE Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has disclosed that no fewer than two of its staff are currently facing disciplinary actions for allegedly engaging in extortion during the ongoing Continued Voter Registration, CVR, exercise in Lagos State.
The commission also cautioned political parties in the country against encouraging thuggery as they prepare for the 2019 general elections.
Resident Electoral Commissioner, Lagos State, Sam Olumekun, who spoke on the ongoing registration exercise at a media briefing at the INEC office in Sabo, Yaba, said that 231,435 voters have been registered by the commission in the state.
He stressed that the commission would stop at nothing to ensure that votes count in next year’s election.
Olumekun lamented that the extortions at the registration centres were perpetuated not only by their staff but also by some other persons.
He said: “One of the challenges we are facing is extortion at the ongoing registration centres. We have reports of people asking residents for gratification before they are registered. We urge residents to report anyone asking for money from them. “No one is expected to pay any fund before being registered. We are urging people to report anyone demanding for money to us.”
He also expressed worry over multiple registrations by residents in the state.
He said: “We discovered that commercial institutions and other organisations have listed Voter Card as some of the identity cards for transactions. And when residents need to embark on this, they rush to any of our centres, re-register and demand for the card immediately. Anyone whose card is lost or damaged does not need to embark on fresh registration; rather the person should visit any of the centres for appropriate action.”
To improve the exercise, Olumekun said the commission has increased the registration points from 20 to 55 centres across the state.