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Nigeria’s INEC cedes ground, extends voter ID collection deadline to 5 February

Biometric voting system credited with revealing over-voting
Categories Biometrics News  |  Elections  |  ID for All
Nigeria’s INEC cedes ground, extends voter ID collection deadline to 5 February

Nigerians who have registered to vote in the upcoming general elections now have until 5 February to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) after the National Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) yielded to pressure to make a further extension.

The voter ID distribution exercise was due to end on 30 January but INEC said in a press release that an extension was deemed necessary given the interest shown by Nigerians “who troop out daily” in different states of the federation “to collect their PVCs.”

The decision to push the deadline was taken after a meeting in which the Commission had talks with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) from the 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory where reports on the PVC collection process were reviewed.

“The Commission has decided to further extend PVC collection in all its local government offices nationwide by an additional one week. The ongoing collection of PVCs nationwide will therefore continue and end on 5 February 2023,” INEC wrote in the press release issued after the meeting with RECs.

“This is the second time the Commission is extending PVC collection nationwide and this will be the last extension of the exercise. Collection period has further been extended by another two hours and will start at 9am and end at 5pm daily, including Saturdays and Sundays,” adds the press release which is signed by Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee.

Meanwhile, the Commission warned all those who engaged in multiple registrations not to bother going to collect their PVCs because they don’t event exist.

“The Commission will continue to act on all reported cases of sharp practices during the ongoing PVC collection and will ensure that no Nigerian in disadvantaged and that all those that carried out valid registration have an opportunity of collecting their PVCs,” the election agency assured.

The deadline extension for PVC collection follows pressure from political parties and civil society organizations on INEC to allow registered citizens enough time to take possession of their cards.

The PVC is quite important as INEC has repeated said that no registered voter will be allowed to vote without presenting their PVC, which will be the basis for their accreditation at the polling stations using the biometric voter accreditation system (BVAS) which will be put to integrity test on 4 February.

Osun election tribunal credits BVAS

The preliminary state governor election in Osun last year was overturned on Friday by the Osun State Election Petitions Tribunal, Punch Nigeria reports.

The ruling was made in part due to the evidence supplied by the BVAS.

A former director on INEC says that there was a discrepancy between records obtained directly from BVAS units and from the server, however, which is blamed for controversy around the tribunal’s decision.

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