INEC To Resume Nationwide CVR On June 28
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed June 28, for the resumption of its suspended Continuous Voter Registration across the country, with new technology.
The Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, at a news briefing yesterday, said that the exercise would continue until the third quarter of 2022.
Yakubu also announced that the commission would replace its Direct Data Capture Machine (DDCM) introduced in 2011 for voter registration with a new technology called, INEC Voter Enrolment Device (IVED).
The registration exercise took place continuously from April 27, 2017 and was suspended on August 31, 2018.
The suspension was “to enable the commission to prepare the data for the production of register of voters and printing of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) for the 2019 general elections’’.
Yakubu said that INEC could not resume the exercise in 2019 due to litigations that followed the general elections and several off-cycle elections, particularly the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship polls.
He added that the CVR could not also come up in 2020 largely due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that although the commission earlier promised to start the exercise before the end of first quarter of 2022, the target could not be met for three reasons.
“The first is the establishment of new systems that would ensure safer CVR exercise in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In this regard, the commission is building a new online registration portal that would enable new registrants to commence registration online and subsequently complete the capture of their biometric data at designated registration centres.
“This is designed to reduce crowding. Through the online portal, they can schedule their visits to the registration centres to suit their convenience.
“Above all, a CVR locator is integrated into the new portal which will enable online registrants to locate the nearest registration centre available to them to complete their registration.
“Previously, registered voters who wished to transfer their voting locations, apply for replacement of their PVCs or correct their personal information had to appear physically at the registration centres.
“The development of this portal, which is being done in-house by our engineers, has taken a little more time to complete than the Commission anticipated.”
Yakubu added that the exercise could not start on the targeted quarter due to the commission’s determination to expand voter access to polling units across the country, of which it needed more time.
He added that the commission had decided to introduce a new voter registration equipment and technology to replace the DDCM introduced in 2011.
Yakubu said that while the DDCMs had served the commission well over the last 10 years, INEC believed that there were now more compact registration devices that could better serve Nigerians during the CVR exercise.
“The commission is therefore migrating to the INEC Voter Enrolment Device (IVED), which is based on an Android tablet.
“The procurement of the new devices, the modification of the registration software by our in-house engineers to make it compatible with the Android Operating System, as well as integrating these with the online registration portal require a little more time.
“For instance, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our partners abroad who manufacture the IVED hardware are not operating at full capacity and the pandemic has also made the supply chain and delivery much slower.
“In consideration of these challenges and the measures we have taken to overcome them, the commission is now in a position to announce Monday June 28 as the date for the recommencement of the CVR exercise nationwide,” Yakubu said.
The chairman, however, said that the commission would accomplish some critical activities within a timelines leading to the restarting of the exercise.
These according to him include the expansion of voter access to polling units (Pus) by May 11; building and testing the online registration portal – May 15; arrival of the new IVED- May 31.
Other activities listed by him include, the recruitment and training of voter enrolment staff – June 14; and restart of CVR – June 28.
He explained that while the CVR would resume on June 28, emphasis would initially be on Anambra State where more centres would be established in view of the state governorship election scheduled for Nov. 6.
Yakubu said that in order to complete preparations for the governorship election, the CVR exercise in the State would be temporarily suspended in August 2021 to clean up the data for the state and print the PVCs for registrants.
He pledged that the Commission would after the Easter break start consultation with stakeholders on the new innovations.
Yakubu called on all intending registrants, especially those that have turned 18 recently to turn out for the exercise, while urging eligible voters not to register twice.
“The following categories of Nigerians are particularly encouraged to seize the opportunity of the CVR in order to fulfil the important civic responsibility of voting:
“All Nigerians who are 18 years of age and have never been registered to vote;
“Any registered voter who has had any issue during accreditation at previous elections so that the Commission can rectify the problem;
“All registered voters who wish to transfer their voting locations from the present one to another.
“All registered voters who have lost their PVCs or whose PVCs have been defaced or damaged.
“And all registered voters who wish to correct their information such as misspellings of names, dates of birth among others’’.
The highlight of the briefing included the taking of COVID-19 jab by Yakubu and some national commissioners.
… Vote Buyers Attack EFCC Operatives In Kaduna
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says its operatives were attacked in Kaduna on Saturday during the governorship and state houses of assembly elections held across the country.
In a statement on Saturday by Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC spokesperson, the commission said the operatives came under attack at School Road in Unguwan Rimi, Kaduna, while attempting to arrest a suspected vote buyer identified as Kabiru Musa.
Uwujaren said the suspect was seen in a video inducing voters by using his phone to transfer money into their accounts after they cast their votes.
“Immediately he was accosted by the operatives, Musa became unruly and screamed to attract the attention of his syndicate members, who descended on the operatives, using all manner of weapons that left some of them injured. It took great restraints for the operatives to ignore the unprovoked attack but insisted on arresting the suspect,” the statement reads.
“As the team drove away with the suspect, their vehicle was pelted with stones and other dangerous objects that damaged the windshield and three operatives suffered varying degrees of injuries in the process.
“The injured operatives are currently receiving medical attention at the Medical Centre of the Kaduna Zonal Command, while the suspect is in custody, pending conclusion of the investigation.
“It will be recalled that EFCC teams were similarly attacked during the presidential and national assembly elections, leaving some of its vehicles badly damaged.”
Reacting to the incident, Abdulrasheed Bawa, EFCC chairperson, commended the operatives for exercising restraint under extreme provocation.
He, however, appealed to the public to desist from attacking officers of the commission as it would no longer be tolerated.
Gov’ship/State Assembly Polls: EFCC Arrests 65 Suspects Over Vote Buying
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says its operatives arrested 65 persons across the country over alleged voter inducement.
EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, announced the development on Saturday in a statement on the commission’s monitoring activities of the governorship and state houses of assembly elections across the country.
He said 20 of the suspects were arrested in Kwara, while 13 suspects were arrested in Kaduna state.
He added that 12 suspects were arrested in Rivers; four each in Akwa Ibom and Cross River, while others were apprehended in Gombe, Sokoto, Kebbi, and Niger states.
“Those arrested in Kaduna State were 10 males and three females. They were apprehended by EFCC operatives either working on intelligence reports or were chanced upon during monitoring,” the statement read.
“A suspect allegedly involved in vote buying was nabbed at School Road, Unguwan Rimi in Kaduna. The suspect, who initially resisted arrest, is however in custody pending the conclusion of investigation.
“Also in Kaduna, a team arrested a suspect with voter coupons, which he confessed would be used to trace and pay those who voted for his party”, the statement added.
The EFCC also said its team monitoring voting around Local Education Authority School, Kabala Doki in Kaduna, arrested two suspects for vote buying, while the sum of N67,500, a list containing names of voters and bank account details were recovered from the suspects.
“Some of the items recovered from the suspects were voter cards, monies, lists containing names and account details of voters, and telephone recharge cards,” he added.
Alleged Party Name Omission, NNPP Candidate Threatens Suit Against INEC
Olufemi Ajadi, the governorship candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) in Ogun State, says the party will sue the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the “omission of the party’s name from ballot papers”.
Ajadi spoke with journalists on Saturday after casting his vote at Ofada, Obafemi Owode LGA of Ogun state.
The NNPP candidate said he was “disappointed” over the conduct of the governorship and house of assembly elections in the state.
Ajadi said the party had earlier written a letter to INEC to ensure the inclusion of his party’s name on the ballot paper, instead of only the logo.
“As you can see, we cannot see security everywhere. In my polling unit, where I cast my vote, the APC gathered hoodlums to attack me,” he said.
“I’m so disappointed in this country. I’m so disappointed about the leaders that we have. People can’t move around freely to the extent that they were dragging guns with my security. Can you imagine? No, this is not an election.
“On the ballot paper, I can’t see my party, the NNPP. After writing to INEC, to make amendment before the election and today is an election, we can’t find the name, only the logo.
“By the grace of God, we are going to court to challenge INEC on reasons why they failed to put our name on the ballot paper. I’m disappointed in INEC”, he lamented.
When The Tide source checked the list of political parties on INEC website, it was observed that the name of the party was not inscribed on the party’s logo.
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