CLAIM: On August 18, 2020, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a report by multiple online platforms, including The Nigeran Post, which was attributed to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with the claim that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is printing fake Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC) ahead of the Edo Governorship election.
The headline, “Edo 2020: APC Printing Fake Voters Cards, PDP alleges,” the report said the PDP accused the APC of involving in such activity because the party realised it would not win the election. The PDP further alleged that the Fake PVCs are intended to be used by the APC to rig the poll.
Checks by fact-checkers at the CDD show that Only the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) produce Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC) that can be used in any Nigeria election. In the past, INEC had clarified such claim, the Election Management Body on countless occasions, clarified that the PVC is coded to designated polling units and configured to specific and unique Smart Card Reader with robust security features.
It is important to note that this is not the first time Nigerian politicians will raise and make such a false claim. During the 2019 general elections, INEC National Commissioner in charge of publicity, Barrister Festus Okoye, while reacting to allegations of the use of cloned PVC said such claim is only a ploy by politicians to pressure the Commission into disclosing the kind of security the Smart Card Reader possesses.
As stated in the INEC election guideline, the Smart Card Reader is used before voter’s accreditation to validate and authenticate the identity of the voter by cross-matching their fingerprints with data already stored in an embedded chip. Evidence suggests that the use of the Smart Card Reader has enhanced electoral integrity in Nigeria. The PVC is not transferrable, and any PVC not issued by INEC cannot be validated and authenticated for the purpose of voting in Nigeria elections, including in the Edo State governorship poll, scheduled to hold on September 19, 2020.
The claim by the PDP and reported on several media outlets that fake/cloned PVC will be used to rig the Edo state election is not correlated with the guideline released by INEC and therefore cannot be substantiated.
CDD can authoritatively confirm that any PVC not issued by INEC will not authenticate and/or be used for voting during the Edo 2020 election. The claim by the PDP that fake voters’ card can be used to rig the election in Edo is false.
CDD is urging members of the public to read beyond headlines before sharing any news report.
You can also forward suspicious messages for verification at +2349062910568 or contact us on twitter @CDDWestAfrica.
Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa