INEC to End CVR on July 31, 2022

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) would officially end on July 31, 2022.

After considering several issues related to the exercise, among other things, the Commission yesterday announced the extension.

Festus Okoye, INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, made this announcement in a statement issued in Abuja. He also stated that the Commission projected 95 million voters to participate in the 2023 election.

Okoye claimed that the Commission chose in response to the Federal High Court’s dismissal of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project’s (SERAP) lawsuit seeking to extend the exercise past June 2022 on Wednesday, July 13, 2022.

Although the Commission had earlier extended the June 30 deadline, it did not provide a specific end date for the exercise.

The court has now confirmed, according to Okoye, that INEC is free to choose a date to suspend the CVR as long as it is not more than 90 days before the date set for the general election, as specified in Section 9(6) of the Electoral Act 2022.

He claimed that the Federal High Court’s ruling had eliminated all legal obstacles.

He said: “In compliance with the interim injunction of the Court pending the determination of the substantive suit, and to enable more Nigerians to register, the Commission continued with the CVR beyond June 30, 2022. For this reason, the CVR has already been extended beyond June 30, 2022, for 15 days.

“With the judgment of the Federal High Court, all legal encumbrances have now been removed. Accordingly, the Commission has taken the following decisions: “The CVR is hereby extended for another two weeks until Sunday, July 31, 2022, thereby bringing the total duration of the extension to 31 days (1st – 31st July 2022).

“The exercise has also been extended to eight hours daily from 9.00 am – 5.00 pm instead of the current duration of six hours (9.00 am – 3.00 pm) daily; and the exercise is also extended to include weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) as against only weekdays.”

He continued by saying that the commission would also compile the national voter registration list and present it to polling units for each of the 8,809 Registration Areas (Wards) across the nation’s 774 local councils.

“This lasts for one week. Based on a new projection of 95 million voters, based on ten voters per page, the Commission has to print 9,500,000 pages for the display; print millions of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) for all fresh registrants and applicants for transfer and replacement of lost or damaged PVCs; ensure that there is ample time for voters to collect their PVCs ahead of the 2023 general election; print the final register of voters in triplicate for the 2023 general election involving a projected 28,500,000 pages for accreditation and display at 176,846 polling units for national elections (Presidential and National Assembly) on February 25, 2023, and state elections (Governorship and State Assembly) on March 11, 2023; and make copies of the updated national register of voters available to political parties not later than 30 days to the date fixed for the general election.”

He pleaded with Nigerians not to wait until the last few days to swarm the centres again for registration.

“We appeal for the patience and understanding of all Nigerians as we conclude the exercise, which will resume after the 2023 general election.

“We observed that following the continuation of the exercise beyond June 30, 2022, many of the registration centres recorded a low turnout of prospective registrants. With this two-week extension, we appeal to eligible citizens not to wait until the last few days before they inundate the centres again to register.

“We appreciate the interest of Nigerians to register and participate in the electoral process and once again reiterate our commitment to credible and transparent elections. This can only be achieved with the support and cooperation of all Nigerians,” he added.

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