The Independent National Electoral Commission has extended the deadline for the collection of Permanent Voter Cards until Sunday, January 29, 2023.
INEC earlier fixed the collection deadline as Sunday, January 22, 2023.
After a meeting on Thursday, INEC said it had pushed the deadline by eight days.
“The Commission is determined to ensure that registered voters have ample opportunity to collect their PVCs ahead of the forthcoming election. For this reason, the timeframe for the collection of PVCs is extended by eight days,” INEC National Commissioner Festus Okoye said in a statement.
“Instead of ending on Sunday January 22, 2023, the collection of PVCs will continue until Sunday January 29, 2023. At the moment, the period of collection is 9.00 am – 3.00 pm daily (including Saturdays and Sundays).”
Okoye also disclosed that over 100,000 PVCs were collected in some states since the commission took the collection of PVCs to Ward on January 6.
The statement read, “The Commission is encouraged by the turnout of registered voters and the surge in the number of collected PVCs across the country. In some of the states, as many as 100,000 PVCs were collected in the last five days since the devolution to ward level started on Saturday, January 6, 2023.
“The Commission is determined to ensure that registered voters have ample opportunity to collect their PVCs ahead of the forthcoming election.
“For this reason, the timeframe for the collection of PVCs is extended by eight days.
“As a result of this extension, there is a consequential adjustment of the collection by location as follows:
“Collection at the Registration Area (Ward) level is extended by one a week from Monday 16th – Sunday 22nd January 2023.
Collection at Local Government level will resume on Monday 23rd – Sunday 29th January 2023.”
Okoye also said the commission was investigating the allegations of extortion against some of its officials, assuring that anyone found culpable would be sanctioned.
“Meanwhile, the Commission is investigating allegations of extortion by officials at some of the collection centres and inducement by some unscrupulous voters to circumvent processes in order to obtain their PVCs. Those found culpable will be face disciplinary action and/or prosecution.
“Similarly, the Commission is disturbed by allegations of discriminatory issuance of the PVCs in some locations. This is against the law. All bonafide registrants are entitled to their PVCs and to use them to vote on Election Day in any part of the country where they are registered. Resident Electoral Commissioners have been directed to ensure that no such practices occur nationwide and take immediate disciplinary action against violators,” the statement added.
He, however, disclosed that a total of 13,868,441 PVCs had been printed for new valid registrants.
The National Commissioner said, “For the record, the Commission has printed 13,868,441 PVCs for all new valid registrants as well as applicants for transfer or replacement of cards. Nevertheless, issuing officers should compile any complaints about non-availability of cards and forward them to their immediate supervisors for the attention of Resident Electoral Commissioners who shall compile and forward them for necessary action.
“The Commission once again appreciates the patience and perseverance of citizens as we continue to finetune our process to make the collection of PVCs easier.”