Samples of the Permanent Voters' Cards (PVCs) required to be elgible to vote in elections in Nigeria.

As the 2023 general elections approach in Nigeria, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has released an update for the collections of the permanent voters card (PVCs), a mandatory requirement for eligibility to vote in elections in the country.

This is coming on the heels of reported attacks on some offices of the electoral body by some unidentified persons who set fire to INEC’s facilities in which several thousands of yet to be collected PVCs have been reportedly burnt. So far, places where INEC’s offices have been attacked include, Ogun, Osun, and Ebonyi States respectively.

This development has continued to raise questions about the safety of voters amidst the growing spate of insecurity across the country.

Also, following the growing concerns by voters about the delay in the release of the voters card by the electoral umpire for collection, INEC met on Saturday 26th November, 2022, to deliberate on a number of issues, among them were the date and procedure for the collection of the PVCs, as well as the prosecution of persons arrested for illegal possession of the voters cards.

In a press release signed by Festus Okoye, INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, the electoral body said following the end of the statutory period for the display of the registers of voters for claims and objections, the Commission was determined to make the collection of PVCs as seamless as possible.


According to Okoye, a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has been developed to that effect. He added that a retreat involving all the Resident Electoral Commissioners, (RECs) from the 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory, FCT) has been slated to hold on 28th November to 2nd December, 2022 in Lagos, where the Standard Operating Procedure and all other relevant matters would be discussed and finalised.

Okoye disclosed that at the end of the retreat, the Commission would then release the dates as well as the detailed procedure for the immediate collection of PVCs nationwide.

On the prosecution of offenders, the Commission said in the last couple of weeks, the Nigeria Police has arrested some individuals found to be in illegal possession of voters’ cards in some states of the federation.

“In the last couple of weeks, the Nigeria Police has arrested some individuals found to be in illegal possession of voters’ cards in some states of the federation. In one case, the Police has concluded and handed over the case file to the Commission resulting in successful prosecution of one Nasiru Idris at a Magistrate Court in Sokoto who was found to be in possession of 101 PVCs in contravention of Section 117 and 145 of the Electoral Act 2002. He has been sentenced to a year in prison.

“Similarly, the Police in Kano also arrested a man who was found to be in possession of 367 PVCs. The suspect has been charged to court and the Commission is pursuing his prosecution,” Okoye said in the release.

Continuing, Okoye added, “The Commission appreciates the patience and understanding of Nigerians, especially those who registered as voters or applied for transfer/replacement of their cards from January to July 2022. In making available for collection, the Commission is also working to ensure that the process is hitch-free.”

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