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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at its meeting on Thursday, December 9, 2021, revealed the suspension of the Voter Continuous Registration (VTR) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) towards strengthening the commission preparations for the FCT Council elections in March 2022. The INEC, deliberating on a number of issues, including the conduct of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Council Elections, asserted that “by section 103(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), the Commission is empowered to conduct elections into the offices of Chairman, Vice Chairman, and members of the Area Councils of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).”
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye Esq., in a statement on Thursday, emphasized that Pursuant to this power, the Commission met on 30th March 2021 and fixed Saturday, 21st February 2022, for the conduct of elections to these positions.
He noted that by section 9(5) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), the registration of voters, updating and revision of the register of voters shall stop not later than 60 days before any election covered by the Act. “Consequently, the Commission will, in compliance, suspend further registration of voters in the FCT with effect from December 12, 2021,” Okoye declared.
He said that to contain the anticipated upsurge as the Continuous Voters’ Registration (CVR) winds down in the FCT, the Commission has deployed additional INEC Voter Enrolment Devices (IVEDs) to the registration centres.
“A total of 17 IVEDs have been distributed based on 2 per Area Council and 5 at the Registration Centre.
“All appointments beyond 12th December 2021 have been rescheduled and notifications sent to the affected persons through email,” Okoye highlighted.
He further said that the Commission has also suspended services for all voter updates, transfers, and reviews in relation to the FCT.
“The Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) of new registrants will be printed and made available for collection immediately after the required processes have been completed and well ahead of the election scheduled for Saturday 12th February 2022,” he said.
Okoye affirmed that the Commission remains committed to the conduct of free, fair, and safe elections in Nigeria.
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