The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has warned that it will not hesitate to prosecute anyone found in possession of fake permanent voter’s card, PVC, during the general elections scheduled for February, 2015.
The commission stated that a card reader device shall be provided to discern which card is original and which is fake. Holders of such counterfeit cards thereby will have to face the wrath of the law is caught around the polling units and will be handed over to security operatives for prosecution.
Speaking with newsmen on Thursday, January 1, 2014, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, gave the stern warning that adequate provision is available to identify whoever wants to truncate the election through impersonation or use of fake cards.
“It is a criminal offence to present or attempt to use a fake voter’s card for voting. Every electoral offence has a penalty. It is a criminal offence and the security agencies will be invited, but the bottom line, as far as our own process is concerned, is that fake cards cannot be used because our card readers have been designed to reject any card INEC did not issue.
“People make all manners of allegations of card cloning, but we are just reassuring the public that even if that was done, it will be filtered and the perpetrators would be made to face the law.”
Mr Idowu further explained that the PVC would be used for the verification and authentication of voters, maintaining that the system will make the voting exercise easy and fast unlike the previous means of registration during the 2011 elections.
“It is a two-stage process; when the card is swiped on the card reader, the data of the owner that is already stored on the card will pop up on the screen of the reader, and for that information to pop up on that screen is a confirmation that the card is produced by INEC, which is the verification”. He stated
“The next step is to check that the person who brings the card is the rightful owner, so when the person’s finger print is taken and it matches the one on the card’s chip through the reader, and it says verified, that is when the card can be used to vote. But when it says ‘not verified’, that card cannot be used.” He added.