In the off-cycle governorship elections, agents of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have seized N11 million in cash and detained fourteen people suspected of buying votes.
“Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have arrested 14 (Fourteen) suspected vote buyers in Otueke, Adawari playgrounds in Bayelsa State and at various polling units in Imo and Kogi States,” the anti-corruption agency said in a late Saturday statement.
“They were arrested on Saturday, November 11, 2023, in intelligence-driven operations that commenced several days before the ongoing governorship elections in the three states.”
It also intercepted N11m cash in Bayelsa and Imo states.
“Also, a total sum of N11,040,000 (Eleven Million, Forty Thousand Naira only) comprising N9,310,000 (Nine Million, Three Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira) intercepted from suspected vote buyers and sellers in Bayelsa and N1,730,000 (One Million, Seven Hundred and Thirty Thousand Naira) intercepted from electoral fraud suspects across Imo State, were also recovered from them,” it added.
“Also, two vehicles were intercepted from the suspects. They will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.”
The accomplishment follows the anti-crime agency’s commitment to crack down on offences related to vote-buying during off-season elections.
“The Commission’s monitoring operations are to tackle any form of voter’s inducement through vote buying, vote selling, and other manipulation of the electoral processes at variance with the Electoral Act,” INEC said.
In a similar spirit, agents from the Independent Corrupt Practises and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), another anti-corruption organisation, were dispatched to the states.
“The Commission’s operatives have been deployed to the 56 Local Government Areas and 649 Wards to monitor and prevent vote buying and other electoral malpractices at the various polling units during the electoral exercise,” ICPC added.