The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Lagos State has described as untrue, allegations by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that some members of the commission were colluding with the All Progressives Congress, APC, to manipulate the ongoing Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, distribution..
Mr Olusegun Agbaje, INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos state refuted PDP’s claim in a statement on Tuesday evening by Mrs Adenike Tadese, Head of Department, Voter Education and Publicity.
According to him, INEC read with great consternation from some national dailies, PDP’s allegations that the commission was denying some applicants their PVCs as well as cloning some PVCs.
“It is pertinent to clarify and correct the frivolous accusation by PDP that some INEC staff are colluding with members of the ruling party in the state to deny some groups of people access to collect their PVCs.
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“Mention was equally made of Mr Muyiwa Yusuf, the Head of Department VR/ICT INEC in the state who was alleged to have connived with the APC to clone the faces of voters through the privileged access he has to the PVCs.
“It has become necessary to comment on the recent report which far from being true, was a gross misrepresentation and diversionary both in content and context.
“It is obvious that this orchestrated story by PDP was fabricated to distort the reputation of INEC in the state and to soil the name of the officer in question,” Agbaje said.
Agbaje said that eligible registrants were at no point being denied of their rights to collect the PVCs in all the 20 local government areas of the state.
“INEC has neither political affiliation nor inclination with any party in the state. Collection of PVC is based on first come, first served,” he said.
The commissioner added that INEC as an Election Management Body, EMB, saddled with the constitutional responsibility of conducting free and fair election had no reason to clone PVCs, knowing that cloned cards would not be authenticated on election day.
He said that INEC’s new technology, Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, would never authenticate any cloned PVCs on election day.
He added: “The exercise being embarked upon in the commission at the moment is the scanning of PVCs to harvest phone numbers of eligible registrants yet to collect their cards with a view to contacting them via bulk sms.
“The commission strongly believes in equity, transparency, integrity and fairness in the conduct of her business.
“We shall continue to uphold these fundamental principles in the discharge of our constitutional duties and responsibilities as an un-biased umpire to all stakeholders.”
PDP on Monday at a news conference, alleged manipulation, oppression and intimidation of voters by the APC in the state ahead of the polls.
The PDP said that some INEC staff were aiding and colluding with the APC in the manipulation of PVCs distribution in the state.