The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State has accused a Labour Party chieftain, Prof Pat Utomi, of “invading” its office in the Oshodi/Isolo Local Government Area and holding an illegal press conference inside its conference room.
INEC Resident Electoral Officer (REC) in the state, Olusegun Agbaje, on Channels Television’s The 2023 Verdict programme on Thursday, said he didn’t expect such action from a senior Nigerian like Utomi.
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“Today in Lagos, Pat Utomi did what we did not expect a senior Nigerian to do. He virtually invaded our office at Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Area with some people we didn’t know and they held an “illegal” press conference inside our conference room at Oshodi.
“Pat Utomi is a senior person, we didn’t expect that from him, that is an invasion. We informed the police accordingly and the DSS about this invasion. It is uncalled for, it is an act of intolerance on his part, what he did today would have led to violence,” Agbaje said.
Asked if Utomi’s grievances were addressed, Agbaje said if the LP chieftain had contacted him, he would have offered an explanation to anything he wanted to know, adding that one of the issues in the area is that a lot of people that migrated from the South-East want to vote in Lagos but didn’t transfer their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
The resident commissioner said the only challenge in Lagos is that many people instead of transferring their PVCs from their previous locations, rather did double registrations.
According to him, people with double registrations can’t be issued a second PVC because it is assumed that they already have one.
On the number of PVCs distributed in Lagos so far, Agbaje said that a total of 5,734,559 have been distributed from the old PVCs registered in 2011, 2015 and 2019 while 835,732 PVCs are uncollected.
On the newly registered PVCs of 2021 and 2022, he said the state has received the total of 1.6 million out of which 899,026 have been collected so far and 168,000 uncollected.
Overall, Agbaje said the state received a total of 7.6 million out of which 6.6 million PVCs have been collected with one million PVCs left, amounting to 87% of collected PVCs so far in the state.