The Independent National Electoral Commission said it is investigating the Sahara Reporters’ story on its staff in a town in Ogbomoso, Oyo state for extorting money from residents to register citizens in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration exercise.
The commission in a post on its official Twitter page said: “INEC’s attention has been drawn to media reports that one of its staff in a town in Oyo state is allegedly collecting money to register citizens in d ongoing Continuous Voter Registration exercise. The matter is being investigated. “
Recall that Sahara Reporters had uncovered cases of bribery and extortion among the INEC officials in Ogbomoso before citizens can conduct registration.
The Sahara Reporters story below:
In less than seven months, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will conduct a nationwide election that would allow Nigerians, yet again, an opportunity to decide their leaders. The sensitization on how to register for and get a Permanent Voter Card (PVC) has been loud from INEC, Non-Governmental Organizations and even aspirants. However, there have been numerous complaints from Nigerians about the human-induced difficulties that have made the PVC registration almost impossible for many. BANJO DAMILOLA writes for SAHARAREPORTERS about cases of bribery and extortion she investigated in select centres she visited based on hints from Nigerians.
INEC’s office at Ogbomosho North Local Government (LGA), Oyo State, has become notorious for extorting residents who come for PVC registration so much that motorcycle riders prepare the minds of their passengers before they drop them off at the commission’s office along Oke Owode road.
“They won’t attend to you except you give them money,” a rider told one of Saharareporters’ citizen reporters in Ogbomosho.
Getting to the office at about 8:30a.m on Friday, June 22, our correspondent observed that there were pockets of aggrieved people who were complaining about the conduct of the officials.
“I don’t know why they [INEC Officials] are rationing the form,” a woman who had come to register with her daughter said. “They gave my daughter the form but they refused to give me form. This is the second time I am coming here and each time, they said the form has finished for the day.”