By Kevin Okunzuwa
The Edo office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned its staff against extorting eligible voters.
INEC issued the warning as the ongoing continuous voter registration (CVR) in the state progresses.
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Obo Effanga, who was at an interactive session with members of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Benin, reacted to allegations of extortion of eligible voters.
He said there was no such complaint before him, but warned that any staff caught in the act would be disciplined accordingly.
Effanga disclosed that over 460,000 permanent voter cards (PVCs) were yet to be collected by their owners in the state .
” We have a total of 1,900,423 registered voter in Edo state prior to the continuous voter registration.
“But we have only distributed 1,445, 749 PVCs while over 460,000 registered voters are yet to collect their PVCs.
“ We have also registered additional 38,448 at the conclusion of the first phase of the CVR,” he said.
He said the commission had created additional six registration centres to give eligible voters the opportunity to register in the on-going second phase of the CVR.
While cautioning eligible voters against double registration, he warned that the commission would not hesitate to prosecute anyone who flouts the law.
He said the commission was at the NUJ to seek collaboration with the body in the area of sensitization of the electorate, particularly those in the rural area on the need to register.
He added that “only the INEC card will enable you to perform your franchise.’’