Bribery Allegation Mars INEC Voter Registration Exercise in Edo
Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
The personnel of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are collecting between N1,000 and N5,000 to allow eligible citizens participate in the continuous voter registration (CVR) ahead of the 2023 elections, applicants have alleged.
In a swift response yesterday, INEC Head of Voters Registration and Publicity in Edo State, Mr. Timidi Wariowei disputed the allegation of bribery and inducement, saying it was not true.
In separate interviews yesterday, applicants who are very eager to beat the July 31 deadline by the commission claimed that they were subjected to pay money just to get registered and vote in the 2023 elections.
While some applicants claimed they paid N1,000 to enrol for their permanent voter cards (PVCs), others alleged that they had to cough out N5,000 before they enrolled.
One of the applicants, Joy Ogie disclosed that she came to the INEC office with her sister, Tessy, around 7.00 am on Friday, though got angry due to her inability to register at about 4.00pm.
Ogie, a 21-year-old resident of Edo, said: “What some INEC officials are doing is to collect money from some applicants who are willing to pay them. For me I have decided not to vote instead of paying for it. I am tired and cannot kill my self because I want to vote.”
Another applicant, Faith Igbinioba claimed that she arrived at the INEC office at about 9.00 a.m., noting that she waited patiently till the evening without the hope of being registered.
Igbinioba, a 60-year-old grandmother, said: “I came here around 9.00am. I have not been called for my enrollment.
In a different case, an applicant, who pleaded anonymity, claimed that some people “are collecting money to fast track their PVC registration. Because I do not have the time to waste here, I have to pay #5,000 to the guy who helped me” he told the reporter.”
Faulting the claims of the applicants, Wariowei noted that the allegation of bribery and inducement was not true.
According to him, there is nothing like bribery here. There is nothing like inducement. I can assure you that our workers are doing their best. We work both on weekends here. I have not seen anything like that.