INEC: Voter Registration May Be Extended By At Least More 30 Days

Chuks Okocha in Abuja

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday assured that the ongoing voter registration exercise may be extended to at least an additional 30 days.

This is contrary to the position by the House of Representatives Chairman on Electoral Committee, Aisha Dukku, who said that the exercise will be extended by 60 days.

The INEC National Commissioner for Information and Chairman Voter Education, Festus Okoye disclosed this while addressing some restive prospective and eligible voters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

According to Okoye, “We are going to extend this registration process to make sure that every eligible Nigerian is registered.”

He lamented the eleventh hour rush by Nigerians in the registration exercise.

“This voters’ registration started eleven months ago. We started  this process on June 28 2021 for online and on July 7 2021, we started the physical registration exercise.

“We have announced that this exercise will end on June 30, but I am assuring you that this exercise will be extended. We are going to continue to ensure that every eligible Nigerian that shows up for the exercise is registered.

“If you show up, we are going to register you. But if you have registered before and registered again, you are engaging in an exercise in futility. Whatever you have done is nonsense because when we take this machine to our office, it will dictate that you have registered before and we will cancel your fresh  registration,” Okoye said.

According to him, “If you have registered before we will leave that one and cancel the new one.

“So, if you have registered before and your PVC is defaced or lost, tell us and we will give you a new PVC.”

Okoye further said, “those of you, if you answer Philip previously in the past and now use a new name Joseph, when you cross your face, it will come and your efforts will be useless and we will cancel the fresh one.

“We are going to make sure that the exercise is extended to at least the next 30 days. Every person that wants to vote will be given the opportunity to register. I commend your patience.”

According to him, INEC is favourably disposed to an extension   of the CVR but will do so in the context of making sure that all those that registered have the opportunity of getting their   Permanent Voters Cards ahead of the election.

However, he said, “The   Federal   High   Court sitting in   Abuja and presided over by Hon. Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon on the 20th of June 2022 granted an ex-parte application restraining the Commission from stopping the CVR on the30th day of June 2022 or on any other date pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice led by SERAP and other individuals. The Court adjourned to the 29th day of June 2022 for the hearing of the Motion on Notice.”

He continued, “The Commission being a constitutional body and guided by the tenets of the rule of law and due process will comply with the said Court Order pending the hearing and   determination of the Motion on Notice.  

“The implication of this is that the registration of voters will continue in all the centres pending the hearing and determination of the issues in the suit,” Okoye stated.

INEC programmed that the voter registration will end on June 30. It had earlier on May 31 this year stopped the online registration of voters.

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