Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, and appropriate anti-corruption agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimea Commission (EFCC) to identify and arrest politicians who are allegedly buying Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) from poor Nigerians, and promptly bring them to justice.
SERAP is also urging the president to “ensure that the politicians and their sponsors who are suspected to be involved in these grave electoral and human rights crimes are named and shamed, regardless of their political affiliations.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recently alleged that some politicians were buying PVCs from poor Nigerians across the country. The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) had corroborated the allegations, reportedly stating that some politicians were buying PVCs with N2,000 in the north.
In the letter dated 17th December 2022 and signed by SERAP deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “Buying of PVCs from poor Nigerians is a threat to fair and representative elections, as it amounts to vote buying, undue influence and improper electoral influence.”
SERAP said, “The allegations that politicians and their sponsors are buying PVCs from poor Nigerians are grave violations of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended), the Electoral Act, and the country’s international anti-corruption and human rights obligations.”
SERAP said, “The right to vote is central to the enjoyment of other basic human rights but the right will have little meaning if politicians and their sponsors continue to buy PVCs and get away with their crime against the Nigerian people.”