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2019 Elections: EFCC investigating top politicians for vote-buying



EFCC is tracking financing of campaign by political parties as part of new measures to tackle vote-buying. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has launched a massive investigation into “political actors” who are engaged in the practice of vote-buying during elections in the country. Vote-buying is the practice of paying voters to compel them to vote for particular candidates during an election, and has become a hot-button issue ahead of the 2019 general elections.The All Progressives’ Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) were strongly condemned for paying voters between N3,000 to N5,000 to influence their electoral decisions in the July 14 Ekiti gubernatorial election. Ahead of the September 22 gubernatorial election in Osun State, EFCC has disclosed that it is tracking financing of campaign by political parties as part of new measures to tackle vote-buying.In a statement signed by the anti-graft agency’s spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, on Friday, September 21, 2018, he said the agency is committed to ensuring the prosecution of everyone engaged in the practice.He said, “As part of the commission’s proactive efforts in securing the integrity of the electoral process and preventing the exercise from being used as avenue for money laundering, the EFCC has already launched massive, but discreet, surveillance of the financial flows of all the actors in the various political parties.”We must guard against electoral malpractices – MaguUwujaren also quoted the agency’s Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, as disclosing that the EFCC will be working in collaboration with other security and intelligence agencies to protect Nigeria’s democratic process.He said, “We will be working with all stakeholders especially from the security and intelligence community to stop the practice of vote buying and other financial malpractices that undermine the integrity of our elections.”It is important to state here that those who offer bribes for votes are as guilty as those who receive such gratifications. My candid advice to the electorates is to be vigilant and resist the temptation to sell their votes.”After the widely acclaimed peaceful transfer of power from a sitting president, who was the candidate of the then ruling party, to the candidate of the opposition party in 2015, the 2019 general election offers Nigeria the opportunity to deepen her emerging democratic culture that is free and participatory. We must guard this process by shunning all forms of electoral malpractices.”Uwujaren disclosed that the ongoing tracking process to fight vote-buying will continue till all the scheduled elections in the country are concluded.

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