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#NigeriaElections2023: Vote-buying: EFCC arrests 19 in Kano, Benue, others

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission has arrested 19 people suspected of vote buying in Katsina, Kano, Benue and the Federal Capital Territory.

The EFCC Kano Zonal Commander, Farul Dogondaji, told the News Agency of Nigeria that 16 of the suspects were arrested in Kano and one in Katsina.

Dogondaji said that six suspects were apprehended in the Tofa and Ungogo local government areas with bags of rice and semovita.

“We also arrested 10 suspects at Kofar Danagundi and Kwalli Primary School in the Municipal Local Government Area,” he added.

Dogondaji said one suspect was apprehended with 60 wrappers in the Bakori Local Government Area of Katsina State, adding that all the suspects were arrested while attempting to share the items to influence voters during the presidential and National Assembly elections.

The EFCC commander said the suspects would be arraigned after the investigation.

In Benue, the agency arrested the Director General of the Peoples Democratic Party Campaign Council, Dr Cletus Tyokyar.

He was said to have been arrested on Saturday at the RCM polling unit in Daudu, in the Guma Local Government Area of the state, with the sum of N306,700 in various denominations stashed in his car.

The EFCC in a statement on its Facebook handle said luck ran out on him when “he drove to the voting centre which was different from his polling unit and tried to run upon sighting operatives of the Commission”.

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But while faulting Tyokyar’s arrest, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, described the anti-graft agency as an agent of destabilisation.

“This is a shame. The EFCC this morning in Guma here arrested our DG campaign because they found just N100,000 on him.

“EFCC is becoming an agent of destabilisation. Why should they pick somebody because of N100,000? Personally, I have more than that.”

Similarly, the commission said it arrested another man for alleged vote buying with N194,000 at Gidan Zakka polling unit, in the Goron Dutse area of the Kano Municipal Local Government area of Kano State.

The EFCC also said, “A party agent buying votes through bank transfers was also arrested in Abaji in the Federal Capital Territory, while two persons, Stanley Nsemo and Eno Amponsah, were arrested in Calabar, Cross River State, with the sum of $450 and N156,800 on suspicion of alleged votes buying.”

Also, the commission said it arrested a woman, Maryam Mamman Alhaji, with 18 voter cards in the Badarwa area of Kaduna, Kaduna State.

“She was nabbed after undercover operatives pretended they had voter cards and were desperate to sell them.

“She is currently being grilled by operatives of the Kaduna Zonal Command of the EFCC, with a view to unravelling other members of her syndicate whom she claimed are also collecting voter cards and paying monies through PoS or direct bank transfers.”

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