By Samuel Faleye, Akure
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday announced that 336,445 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) out of the 1,543,787 received in Ondo State are yet to be collected.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Olusegun Agbaje disclosed this at a press conference in Akure, the State Capital organised on the plan of the commission to conduct a Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise between Wednesday, June 22 and Sunday, June 26, 2016.
He also said within February till this moment, only 1,585 have collected the voting instrument.
The REC said so far about 1,207,342 have collected their PVCs.
The REC, who claimed that the INEC began distribution of the PVC in February 1, 2016 urged people who have registered but yet to collect their cards to visit various INEC offices in their councils for the collection.
Agbaje also appealed to those who are coming for the new registration exercise to collect their cards within five days after they might have registered at their respective INEC offices in their Local Government Areas.
He assured that the exercise would be credible as the commission had put in place a lot of strategies for the success of the programme.
He explained that the commission had configured 396 Direct Data Capturing Machines (DDCMs) for 203 Registration Areas and 193 voting points.
He added that the INEC had recruited 792 Assistant Registration Officers made up of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members and INEC officers to handle the DDC machines while another 203 documentation and distribution officers had been engaged to handle transfer cases and distribution of PVCs yet to be collected in the 203 Registration Centres.
Agbaje said the commission would not allow any form of malpractices during the exercise warning that registration would not be done by proxy.
â€œLet me sound a note of caution to those who might want to misuse this opportunity by engaging in any form of illicit activity such as mobilising people from one place to register in another place especially in areas that share boundaries with the neighbouring states of Ekiti, Ogun, Osun, Edoo and Kogi as well as encouraging under age registration.
â€œThey are hereby warned to desist from any of these acts as the full weight of the law would be brought against anyone caught acting in contravention to the relevant laws during the exercise.
â€œThe Electoral Act, 2010 as amended is very clear on what constitute offences during the voted registration exercise in Sections 117, 120,121, 122, 123 and 124.
â€œFor the avoidance of doubt, anyone who engages in double /multiple registration is liable on conviction to a maximum fine of N1,000,000Â Â or 12 months imprisonment or bothâ€, he said.