Ahead of the February general election, three persons have been arrested over mass purchase of permanent voter cards (PVCs) from prospective voters in Niger State.
LEADERSHIP investigation revealed that the three persons were arrested in possession of the PVCs in Kalgara Rafi local government area which they were alleged to have purchased from villagers in preparation for the general election.
It was gathered that the men arrested over the weekend have been linked to one of the leading political parties in the state and were said to have been purchasing the cards between N10,000 and N20,000.
A source revealed that the practice is a common feature in most local government areas in Niger State and where it was not possible to be purchased, the PVCs meant for the communities were forcefully hijacked without recourse to the individual’s consent.
The source revealed: “For instance at Kutriko in Agaie local government area of the state, there are allegations about a candidate of a political party who threatened to confiscate the PVCs of the people who were not ready to support his party, and freely allow those identified to be his supporters to collect their cards.”
It was gathered that the situation nearly caused confusion as the said member of a political party, allegedly hijacked the process of continuous voter registration, allowing only their supporters to be registered.
Investigation revealed that those arrested in Rafi local government with the cards were transferred to the Niger State Police Criminal Investigation department for further interrogation.