FACT-CHECK: Can Nigerians Without PVC Vote?
A post has been shared multiple times on Twitter, claiming that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will allow Nigerians without permanent voter’s cards (PVC) vote in the forthcoming general election.
In what appeared to be a coordinated campaign aimed at misleading members of the public and discouraging them from obtaining their PVCs to enable them to vote during the national and state elections, the post was duplicated across several social media accounts.
The originators of the claim who remain unknown at press time claimed that “Anyone who didn’t see their PVC should confirm their names on http://cvr.inecnigeria.org/vvs” adding “Once your name is there, copy the last 5 digits of your VIN (voter identification number) and keep it handy. With that you are eligible to vote. That is what the BVAS has done for us.”
The post is also being circulated on WhatsApp and other instant messaging services.
VERIFICATION OF CLAIM
THE WHISTLER contacted INEC’s national commissioner for information and voter education, Festus Okoye, to verify the claim which has continued to be widely shared online.
The commissioner disowned the information, saying “Any individual without a voter’s card cannot vote in any election, that’s the law. Section 47, sub section 1 of the Electoral Law makes the PVC mandatory for voting.”
The section provides that, “(1) 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.
“(2) To vote, the presiding officer shall use a smart card reader or any other technological device that may be prescribed by the Commission, for the accreditation of voters, to verify, confirm or authenticate the particulars of the intending voter in the manner prescribed by the Commission.
“(3) Where a smart card reader or any other technological device deployed for accreditation of voters fails to function in any unit and a fresh card reader or technological device is not deployed, the election in that unit shall be cancelled and another election shall be scheduled within 24 hours if the Commission is satisfied that the result of the election in that polling unit will substantially affect the final result of the whole election and declaration of a winner in the constituency concerned.”
The claim that registered voters can vote in the forthcoming general election by providing “the last 5 digits of your VIN (voter identification number) is false and should be disregard by members of the public.