The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced a week-long extension of the deadline for collecting Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).
The extension could be linked to eligible voters’ complaints and frustrations about the delay and the extremely slow process involved in the PVC collection exercise.
The election umpire, who had previously set January 22, 2023 as the deadline for collecting these PVCs, has now extended the deadline to Sunday, January 29, 2023.
This disclosure was made in a statement issued by INEC National Commissioner Festus Okoye following a commission meeting on Thursday.
- Okoye in the statement said, “The Commission is determined to ensure that registered voters have ample opportunity to collect their PVCs ahead of the forthcoming election. For this reason, the timeframe for the collection of PVCs is extended by eight days,” INEC National Commissioner Festus Okoye said in a statement.
- “Instead of ending on Sunday 22nd January 2023, the collection of PVCs will continue until Sunday 29th January 2023. At the moment, the period of collection is 9.00 am – 3.00 pm daily (including Saturdays and Sundays).”
Highlights of the extension
Okoye explained that the development signals “a consequential adjustment of the collection by location as follows:
1. Collection at the Registration Area (Ward) level is extended by one a week from Monday 16th – Sunday 22nd January 2023.
2. Collection at the Local Government level will resume on Monday 23rd – Sunday 29th January 2023.
INEC to investigate reports of extortion
The INEC National Commissioner also pointed out that the commission is launching an investigation into reports of alleged extortion of Nigerians at PVC collection centres by INEC officials.
- He said, “Those found culpable will face disciplinary action and/or prosecution.
- “Similarly, the Commission is disturbed by allegations of discriminatory issuance of PVCs in some locations. This is against the law. All bonafide registrants are entitled to their PVCs and to use them to vote on Election Day in any part of the country where they are registered.
- “Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) have been directed to ensure that no such practices occur nationwide and take immediate disciplinary action against violators.”