The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ondo State says no fewer than 296,965 previously printed permanent voter cards (PVCs) are yet to be collected by their owners in the state.
Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Dr Rufus Akeju, disclosed this at a news conference, organised by the commission on Wednesday in Akure.
Akeju said that the purpose of the news conference was to give update on the on-going continuous voter registration (CVR) exercise which the commission had commenced on June 28, 2021.
The REC explained that the CVR exercise had provided opportunities for transfer of voter cards, replacement of lost or defaced PVC and update of voter details.
He said that the online pre-registration had ended on May 30, while the registration exercise itself would come to an end on June 30.
“The CVR exercise is now in its fourth phase which commenced on April 11 and will end on June 30. As at May 30, the registration figure stood at 123,981.
“A total of 21,749 PVCs were received by the state for the first and second phases of the CVR exercise and are currently being distributed at our various local government area offices.
“Those who registered during these phases are to avail themselves of the opportunity to collect their PVCs.
“However, 296,965 previously printed PVCs uncollected are still available for collection by the rightful owners at the various INEC offices in the local government,” he said.
The REC, therefore, enjoined eligible Nigerians who are 18 years and above, and who had not registered before, to come out en masse to register since there would be no shift in the closing date.
While encouraging people to come for the exercise, Akeju said that whoever registered more than once would be prosecuted, as it was punishable under Section 12 (2) and (3) of Electoral Act.
“Let me sound a note of warning that registering more than once is a criminal offence under the law, punishable by prison term of not more than 12 months or a fine of N500,000 or both.
“At the end of the CVR exercise, a nationwide Automatic Biometric Identification System (ABIS) will be run on all registrations.
“Those who register more than once will be fished out, their names expunged from the voters register and prosecuted,” he said