Residents of Yenagoa, capital of Bayelsa State, who presented themselves for the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise at the office of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have accused INEC officials in the state of conniving with certain individuals to demand between N200 and N500 before attending to them.
Despite the fact that the residents conducted themselves orderly, some staff of the commission took advantage of the deadline to make brisk business, as they requested N200, N500 and in some cases, as much as N1,000 for the registration.
When SaharaReporters correspondent visited the Yenagoa Local Government Area INEC office at Onopa, many people were seen locked outside the gate, while few people were called into the premises. It turned out that the names were of those who had made payment to one Wisdom. His phone number was given as 08102329320.
A resident, Ebitimi Freedom, narrating his experience said: “The process is fraught with irregularities and there is no orderliness. If you want to be attended to fast, there is a guy inside who can assist, but you have to ‘sort’ him with cash.”
Another voter, who preferred not to be named, said the exercise was marred by insufficiency and shortage of materials, and called for extension, to enable the commission accommodate more eligible Nigerians.
Another resident, Joyce Jonathan, also accused policemen on ground of demanding N500 from anyone, who wanted to gain access into the premises.
However, Timi Wariowei, spokesman for INEC in Yenagoa, denied the allegations, insisting that none of the commission’s officials were involved in the extortion.