Two persons in possession of 468 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) have been arrested by the police.
This was made known in a statement signed by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, on Sunday.
According to the statement, the offenders; Nasiru Idris, was found with 101 PVCs in Sokoto State, and another (name not mentioned) was caught with 367 PVCs in Kano State.
Okoye stated that their offence was in contravention of Sections 117 and 145 of the Electoral Act 2022.
The statement added that the offenders were currently receiving their due punishment.
The statement read, “In the last couple of weeks, the Nigeria Police has arrested some individuals found to be in illegal possession of voter cards in some States of the Federation.
“In one case, the Police have concluded investigations 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 of 101 PVCs in contravention of Sections 117 and 145 of the Electoral Act 2022. 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.”
Giving an update on the PVC collection, the commissioner explained, “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 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.
“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.”