A staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been apprehended for allegedly extorting citizens during the Permanent Voter Card registration exercise in Rivers State.
Naija News understands that the accused who is a security personnel was attached to the electoral body’s office in the Obio Akpor local government area of the state.
INEC in a statement issued on Tuesday through its Public Affairs Officer in the state, Geraldine Ekelemu, confirmed the arrest of the erring staff by the operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Ekelemu admonished citizens to avoid unnecessary desperation that would make them victims of criminals.
He said the commission “has zero-tolerance for acts of extortion and would ensure that security agencies investigate the allegation of illegality by its officials to ensure that every infraction is redressed and punished.”
Naija News understands that the identity of the erring personnel was not made public yet. The electoral body, however, noted that its offices in Rivers State are open and attending to potential registrants while registration is also ongoing in designated locations in some wards on a rotational basis.
It noted that apart from the ongoing voter registration exercise, distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) for those who sought transfers, who have lost their cards in Rivers State has also commenced.
Meanwhile, the INEC had generally announced earlier that those who are just registering for the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) during the registration window that closes on June 30th won’t get their cards immediately.
INEC revealed in a statement on Tuesday that the PVCs from the current registrations won’t be ready until probably January 2023.
Making the position known, the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Federal Capital Territory, Yahaya Bello explained that there are processes and procedures that must be followed before the cards can be printed.
He, therefore, appealed for understanding and corporation from Nigerians.
The REC clarified that those seen collecting their PVCs at the moment are from 2011, 2019 and last year.