Our reporter| The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says Police authorities have arrested two offenders in possession of 468 Permanent Voters’ Cards.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, who made the disclosure in a statement on Sunday, identified the first offender as Nasiru Idris, found with 101 PVCs in Sokoto State.
Okoye, did not, however, reveal the identity of the other culprit.
According to him, the man was caught with 367 PVCs and is currently being charged in court in contravention of Sections 117 and 145 of the Electoral Act 2022.
“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,” the statement read.
“In one case, the Police have concluded the 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 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.”
On the PVC collection, Okoye stated that INEC is determined to make the process as seamless as possible.
He added, “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 November 28 to December 2, 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.”