In a bid to achieving a free and fair exercise ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned that the electoral body would drag to court and prosecute any Nigerian caught selling his or her Permanent Voters Card (PVC) to politicians or anybody
INEC made this disclosure while noting that it is aware that some politicians are engaged in buying up Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) from “poverty-stricken Nigerians.”
The body, which raised the alarm on Monday, also revealed that those desperate politicians were financially inducing unsuspecting voters to harvest their Voter Identification Numbers.
The electoral umpire disclosed the absurdity during the launch of #YourVoteMatters project in Abuja.
INEC National Commissioner overseeing the FCT, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Plateau states, Mohammed Haruna, who raised the alarm revealed that two people had been convicted for illegal possession of PVCs in Sokoto and Kano states.
Haruna said: “We are aware some politicians are more or less buying the PVCs. If you collect the PVC and then you sell it out or allow someone else to have it, you are aiding illegal possession of the PVC which is an offence in our Electoral Act.
“Some of you are aware that only recently, INEC managed to convict two people, who were found guilty of illegal possession of PVCs in Kano and Sokoto. So, I urge people to collect their PVCs, keep it safe, and make sure that on Election Day, you go out there and cast your votes because, of course, without your PVC you cannot vote.”
The project which is supported by the International Foundation for Electoral System, IFES, the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, FCDO, seeks to assist INEC in increasing the number of PVCs collected ahead of the 2023 general elections as well as the voters mobilised on Election Day.