By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
A Magistrate Court in Sokoto has sentenced one Nasiru Idris to one year in prison having been found in possession of 101 Permanent Voter Cards PVCs.
The offence is in contravention of Sections 117 and 145 of the Electoral Act 2002.
National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education Committee at the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Barr. Festus Okoye disclosed this in a statement issued Sunday in Abuja.
INEC said it has also commenced prosecution of another man who was found to be in possession of 367 PVCs in Kano State.
According to him, the Commission met at the weekend and deliberated on a number of issues, among them the date and procedure for the collection 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, Okoye said the Commission is determined to make the collection of PVCs as seamless as possible.
Restating that a Standard Operating Procedure SOP has been developed, Okoye said 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)l.
“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”, he stated.
Prosecution of Offenders
In the last couple of weeks, Okoye disclosed that 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”, he said.
Similarly, the Police in Kano State has arrested a man who was found to be in possession of 367 PVCs.
According to Okoye, 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”, he stated.