Damilola Aina, Abuja

Daily Courier – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has withdrawn two of its officials who were exposed for demanding payment for voter registration in Oju LGA, Benue State.

In a statement sent to Daily Courier, the Administrative Secretary INEC Benue State on Friday, 17 June said the commission is deeply concerned over the development and meted out the punishment to serve as deterrent to others who may conceive such idea.

The statement read, “The attention of the Commission has been drawn to reports that two (2) of our Staff in Oju LGA were alleged to have demanded payment of a fee before registering citizens as voters in the Local Goverment.

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“The Commission is deeply concerned over this development as provisions have been made to our Offices across the State to ensure hitch-free exercise at No cost to the citizens.

“As an immediate measures to arrest the ugly situation, the Commission has withdrawn the two (2) Staff from the field, issued them query and replaced them with another set of staff.”

The statement further directed that all the Electoral Officers in the twenty-three (23) LGA Offices in the State have been directed to warn their staff to desist from extorting money from registrants before registering them.

The commission added that “voter registration is absolutely free”, and urged residents to report illegal activities in any registration centre to the following numbers: 08036048515; 08067842987; or 08023070215.