Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, has insisted that it will be impossible for anyone without the Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) to vote in the forthcoming elections.
Yakubu who spoke at a media briefing organised by the Abuja branch of the National Association of Judiciary Correspondents (NAJUC) with the theme: 2023 General Election: Judiciary and Sustainability of Nigeria’s Democracy, yesterday in Abuja faulted the insinuation that PVC would not be necessary for voters to cast their ballots during the forthcoming elections.
The INEC chairman said the commission was worried about misinformation and disinformation on INEC’s technological deployments as seen on social media.
Yakubu said the problems were compounded by the attitude of some media houses that pick up news bulletins from social media platforms and discuss such on their morning shows and political programmes without reaching out to the commission for necessary clarification.
He added that “one of such is the recent viral assumptions that PVC is not required to vote on Election Day.
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“Let me reiterate the commission’s stance that Section 47(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 clearly states that: ‘A person intending to vote in an election shall present himself with his voter’s card to a Presiding Officer for accreditation at the polling unit in the constituency in which his name is registered.
“Therefore, the commission is legally bound to only accept accreditation of a voter on presentation of a valid voter’s card.”
Yakubu, who was represented by Lawrence Bayode, a director in INEC, noted that with the enactment of the 2022 Electoral Act, the commission could comfortably deploy technologies for its activities.
He however stressed that hitherto, a major challenge the commission faced was the lack of a clear-cut legal framework supporting the deployment of technology, especially in the accreditation of voters and the voting process.
He said Section 47(2) of the Electoral Act (2022) has clearly given a legal backing to the use of technological devices in the accreditation of voters, adding that the Act has also removed the restriction on deployment of electronic voting.
According to him, from the positive impact the deployment of technology has had on the electoral process, INEC will continue to leverage the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to enhance election in the country.