False: INEC said Nigerians can vote using printouts from a government website instead of PVCs.

By: Sam Doak
February 24 2023

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False: INEC said Nigerians can vote using printouts from a government website instead of PVCs.


The Verdict False

Under the Electoral Act of 2022, Nigerians will need a valid PVC to vote in the upcoming general elections.

Claim ID e7894044


On February 25, the Nigerian general elections will be held. The lead-up to this event has been contentious, and numerous false narratives have circulated concerning the upcoming vote. 

A particular theme has been misleading advice on how to vote. Much of this has concerned Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), which are used to verify the identity of voters at polling locations. 

On February 24, the day before polls open, a viral WhatsApp message circulated concerning PVCs. It reads, "IMPORTANT INFORMATION FROM INEC. EVERYBODY MUST VOTE AT THIS TIME. Even if you are registered but couldn't get your PVC."

The message includes a link, then tells readers to "Type in your State, LGA, Your last name and first name, Your date of birth and send. Print out your displayed info, Go to your polling unit on election day, Present it to INC Officials during accreditation and they will allow you to tombprint on Bevas, which will confirm you by bringing out that same info you are Holding. Then, you are accredited to vote.” 

Since this message appeared on WhatsApp, screenshots of it have appeared on other social media platforms, including Twitter.

In Fact 

This information was not issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Nigerians cannot vote without a valid PVC. This was clarified earlier this week by INEC National Commissioner Festus Okoye. People's Gazette quotes the Commissioner, “As Nigerians go to the polling units on election day, we want to point out that it is a mandatory provision of the Electoral Act that every citizen who wants to vote in the coming election must have a PVC… No individual is permitted to go to the polling units and provide any other means of identification other than the PVC."

As Okoye pointed out in his statement, this is a requirement under current legislation. Section 47(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 states, "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 link provided in the WhatsApp message in question links to a government portal for obtaining voter registration information and voter identification numbers. This information is not a substitute for a PVC, even if printed from an official website. 

The Verdict

Nigerians cannot vote in the upcoming general elections without a valid PVC. This is clearly stated in the Electoral Act 2022 and was confirmed by INEC's National Commissioner. This claim has therefore been marked as false.

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