Barristers & Solicitors
INEC debunks viral video on Voter Identification Number
Festus Okoye

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Wednesday debunked a viral video on Voter Identification Numbers.

This was as the Commission also warned against fake news and disinformation.

The Commission said the picture painted by the video circulating was not the true picture.

The viral video showed some INEC staff at the FESTAC Town, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area Office, Lagos, extracting the VIN from permanent voter cards and entering the same into their cellphones.

While praising the alertness of Nigerians, the Commission however said the conclusion in the video that the VIN were been harvested for the purpose of undermining the 2023 general election was far from the truth.

The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC, Festus Okoye, in a statement explained that what was seen done in the video was only part of an inventory of uncollected cards.

Besides, he said it was in line with the new guidelines for the management and collection of the PVCs, approved by the Commission for implementation nationwide.

He added, “In its determination to enhance the rate of collection of the PVCs, the Commission decided to establish a PVC collection process that includes an online component. The procedure entails that registered voters with access to the Internet could go to a dedicated portal to ascertain whether their PVCs are ready and to find their locations for subsequent collection.

“All they are required to do is to provide their details such as name, date of birth, state of registration or the last six digits of the VINs that they provided/received during registration, to locate their cards. This would improve the PVC collection process, but without prejudice to those who wish to go directly to the collection centres.

“For the newer PVCs, that is, those from the Continuous Voter Registration that took place between January and July 2022, the VINs were harvested automatically and made available online. However, for the older uncollected PVCs that predate the new guidelines, their VINs must be harvested manually and painstakingly for upload to the PVC collection portal. The portal will also improve the records of the Commission regarding collected and uncollected PVCs.

“While the Commission appreciates the vigilance of Nigerians and their determination to see the conduct of free, fair, credible and inclusive elections in 2023, it is exceedingly important that information such as contained in the said video is verified before sharing it with the public.”