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Claim That VIN Can Be Used To Vote In Nigeria’s Election Is INCORRECT

Multiple social media users through different platforms have claimed that electorates can vote using the last five digits of their Voters Identification Numbers (VIN) as a replacement for the Permanent Voters Card (PVC).

Claim That VIN Can Be Used To Vote In Nigeria’s Election Is INCORRECT

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Multiple social media users through different platforms have claimed that electorates can vote using the last five digits of their Voters Identification Numbers (VIN) as a replacement for the Permanent Voters Card (PVC).

The claim which was sighted on Whatsapp advised people to write out the last five digits of their VIN after confirming their status at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) voters verification portal.

The claim reads in full: “Anyone who didn’t see their PVC should confirm their names on http://cvr.inecnigeria.org/vvs. Once ur name is there, copy the last 5 digits of ur VIN and keep it handy. With that you are eligible to vote. That is what the BVAS has done for us.Oya, hurry & check! Retweet aggressively” [sic]

The claim was also seen on Facebook here with the same inscription.

VIN

What is PVC?

The Permanent Voters Card (PVC) is a plastic card containing relevant information like name, address, date of birth, gender, and Voter identification number (VIN). The PVC is an important instrument for voting in Nigeria elections. The PVC is the only available and recognized mode of identification for every Nigerian to exercise their constitutional right to vote and to be voted for. Without your PVC, these rights would be restricted.

A sample of a PVC

What is VIN?

Your VIN is located at the left top corner of your temporary voter’s card or the top of your PVC. It is a combination of numbers and letters which makes up 19 in total when counted.

(A sample of a temporary voters card showing the VIN and the last 5 digits.)

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ROUNDCHECK Findings

In a bid to verify the authenticity of the claim, ROUNDCHECK reached out to the INEC’s National Commissioner Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye via text.

Festus Okoye in a response to ROUNDCHECK’s inquiry stated that PVC is the only means of voting.

His response tagged 2023 GENERAL ELECTION: INEC ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR VOTING IS FIXED AND FIRM, posited that Section 47(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 makes it mandatory for electorates to vote using the PVC, adding that the Commission’s policy revolves around ‘NO PVC, NO VOTING.

“Section 47(1) of the Electoral Act, 2022 makes it mandatory that “a person intending to vote in an election shall present himself with his voter’s card to a Presiding Officer for accreditation at the polling unit in the constituency in which his name is registered”. The PVC remains the only form of identification at an election.”

“Any intending voter without a PVC will not be allowed to vote. The Commission’s policy revolves around NO PVC, NO VOTING.”

Festus Okoye clarified that the voters verification service is a portal created for eligible voters to confirm their registration status.

He added that the claim of using VIN to vote should be ignored.

“In addition, INEC has a voter verification service – cvr.inecnigeria.org/vvs. This service is a portal that is available for voters to confirm their registration status, as well as the PU where they will be voting. Therefore, all voters who are yet to collect their PVCs should do so and ignore the false messages.” a part of the statement reads.

No PVC, No Voting

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu on Thursday, 26th Jan, said that no one will be allowed to vote in the general elections without a Permanent Voter Card (PVC).

Prof. Yakubu, while speaking to the National Association of Judiciary Correspondents (NAJUC), described the viral assumptions that PVC is not required to vote on election day as disinformation.

Prof. Yakubu said “A person attending to vote in an election shall present himself with his voter’s card to a presiding officer for accreditation at the polling unit in the constituency in which his name is registered.

“Therefore, the  commission is legally bound to only accept accreditation of a voter on presentation of a valid voter’s card.”

Verdict

Roundcheck incorrect

The claim that Electorates can vote in the forthcoming general election and other elections in the country using the last five digits of the VIN is INCORRECT.

INEC has posited that nobody would be allowed to vote without the PVC as it is also backed by the Electoral Act 2022.

PS: Check HERE on how to get your PVC.

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