The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday extended the deadline for the collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) by one week.
The collection of PVCs was earlier scheduled to end on Sunday, January 22, 2023, but a statement issued yesterday by the National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Mr Festus Okoye, said the new deadline is Sunday, January 29, 2023.
In the statement, the spokesman of the commission disclosed that the decision to shift the deadline by one week was taken at a meeting on Thursday.
He stated that with this new development, collection at the Registration Area (Ward) level is extended by one a week from Monday, January 16 to Sunday, January 22, 2023, while the collection at the local government level will resume on Monday, January 23 to Sunday, January 29, 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.
“Instead of ending on Sunday, 22nd January 2023, the collection of PVCs will continue until Sunday, 29th January 2023.
“At the moment, the period of collection is 9.00 am – 3.00 pm daily (including Saturdays and Sundays),” Mr Okoye disclosed in the notice issued on Thursday night.
Also, the spokesman of the electoral body expressed dissatisfaction over reports of INEC officials extorting Nigerians at PVC collection centres, stressing that an investigation has been launched to look into the allegations, promising that those found culpable will face disciplinary action and/or prosecution.
“The commission is disturbed by allegations of discriminatory issuance of 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 (RECs) have been directed to ensure that no such practices occur nationwide and take immediate disciplinary action against violators,” he declared.