Online CVR: INEC vows to prosecute hackers

Electoral commission officers count votes at Shagari Health Unit polling station in Yola, Adamawa State on February 23, 2019 after the polls were closed during the day of the General elections. - Nigeria began counting votes in presidential elections, even as many people had yet to even cast their ballot because of delays in the opening of polling units and problems with staffing and technology. Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) last week announced a one-week delay to the election, just hours before it was due to get under way. The presidential contest will see incumbent Muhammadu Buhari (APC) seek to win a second four-year term against former vice president Atiku Abubakar (PDP). (Photo by CRISTINA ALDEHUELA / AFP) (Photo credit should read CRISTINA ALDEHUELA/AFP/Getty Images)

By Benson Ezugwu
Calabar, June 29, 2021 The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will not hesitate to prosecute anyone who tries to hack its website in the cause of the online Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
Dr Emmanuel Hart, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Cross River said this on Tuesday in Calabar while speaking to newsmen after day one of the CVR exercise.

Naija247news reports that the CVR started on Monday nationwide.

He said that the commission would apply all relevant aspects of the Law to ensure the prosecution of any registration offender.

“INEC will not hesitate to prosecute anyone who tries to hack its website during this Online registration exercise.

“We have the Cybercrime Law 2015 and the Electoral Act 2010 section 117 (as amended).

“This will further apply to other registration offences including double registration, underage registration and other related offences,” he said.

According to him, while the INEC Online Pre-Registration kicked off Monday, the In-Person (physical) registration will start on July 19, nationwide.

He said that this would be “based on evaluation of security situation for the personnel and equipment to be deployed for the exercise.”

The REC added that the Online-Registration Portal was designed to serve various needs of eligible voters “ranging from new registration to request for intra/interstate transfers.

“Other needs the portal will serve include replacement of lost, damaged and defaced Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) as provided by law.”

“However, after undertaking the online registration, the applicant still has to come to INEC registration centres; that is States and Local Government Offices, for facial and biometric capture, “he said.

He called on the people of Cross River, especially those who have attained the age of 18 since the last exercise and those who could not register for one reason or the other to avail themselves this opportunity.

Hart further advised the general public that the online registration by INEC is a public service and therefore, it was free of charge.

According to him, there was nothing like INEC approved Cybercafé, online registration centre or scratch card.

“All that registrants/applicants need is a device including mobile phone that can connect to the internet “he said.