James Sowole in Akure
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) wednesday said a total of 336,445 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) out of the 1,543,787 received in Ondo State were yet to be collected by their owners, saying only 1,585 persons have collected the voting instrument.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Ondo State, Mr. Olusegun Agbaje disclosed the figure at a news briefing on the plan of the commission to conduct a Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise between Wednesday, June 22 and Sunday, June 26, 2016.
The REC, who said the commission embarked on the distribution of the PVCs since February 1, 2016, advised all persons that have registered during the past registration exercise and were yet to collect their PVCs to seize the opportunity to do so.
While stating that the collection was still ongoing, Agbaje urged the affected persons to collect their PVCs at their respective local government area INEC offices and at the registration areas within the five days that the continuous registration exercise would last.
Agbaje said the commission had put a lot in place in terms of preparations for the successful conduct of the CVR exercise, that would be for Nigerians that must have attained the age of 18 years on or before June 22 and those that have attained the age but could not register during the last exercise.
For the exercise, Agbaje said the commission had configured 396 Direct Data Capturing Machines (DDCMs) for 203 Registration Areas and 193 voting points.
He added that the INEC had recruited 792 Assistant Registration Officers made up of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members and INEC officers to handle the DDC machines while another 203 documentation and distribution officers had been engaged to handle transfer cases and distribution of PVCs yet to be collected in the 203 Registration Centres.
Agbaje said the commission would not allow any form of malpractices during the exercise warning that registration would not be done by proxy.
“Let me sound a note of caution to those who might want to misuse this opportunity by engaging in any form of illicit activity such as mobilising people from one place to register in another place especially in areas that share boundaries with the neighbouring states of Ekiti, Ogun, Osun, Edoo and Kogi as well as encouraging under age registration.
“They are hereby warned to desist from any of these acts as the full weight of the law would be brought against anyone caught acting in contravention to the relevant laws during the exercise.
“The Electoral Act, 2010 as amended is very clear on what constitute offences during the voted registration exercise in Sections 117,120,121,122,123 and 124.
“For the avoidance of doubt, anyone who engages in double /multiple registration is liable on conviction to a maximum fine of N1,000,000 or 12 months imprisonment or both,” he said.