By Our Reporter
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has arrested 65 persons for vote-buying across the States during Saturday March 18, 2023 Governorship and House of Assembly elections.
Similarly the EFCC on Saturday in Ilorin, Kwara State paraded 19 suspected vote buyers arrested during the Governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state.
The Acting Zonal Head of EFCC, Ilorin Zonal Office, Michael Nzekwe, said that the suspects were paraded at the commission’s Head office located at GRA, Ilorin.
Nzekwe said mandate of the commission was to ensure that money influence in politics was totally cut out and eradicated.
“The suspects were directly involved in vote-buying. We got credible intelligence and we acted on those intelligence.
”Some were arrested in Omu-Aran, Ilorin South and Ilorin West; we were all over the state,” Nzekwe said.
He added that investigation would commence immediately and provisions of the law would be followed afterwards.
”Though, they were picked in different locations across the state with money and Point on Sales (PoS) machines found in their possession, but we will carry out further investigation.
13 suspects were arrested by operatives on election monitoring duty at the Kaduna Zonal Command. The teams monitoring the polls in the Port Harcourt Zone arrested a total of 12 people for various offences bordering on inducing voters with money to vote their preferred candidates, while the Uyo Zonal Command made 4 arrests in Calabar. The remaining suspects were arrested in Gombe, Sokoto, Kebbi and Niger states.
Those arrested in Kaduna consist of 10 males and 3 females. They were apprehended by operatives working on intelligence or chanced upon them during the monitoring exercise.
A suspect allegedly involved in vote buying was nabbed at School Road, Unguwan Rimi Kaduna. The suspect who initially resisted arrest, is however in custody, pending the conclusion of the investigation.
Also in Kaduna, the Tẹam led by ACE II Esmond Garba arrested one Buhari Muhammed in PU 002 Dogara Yaro Dagari area. He was arrested with Voter Coupons, which he confessed would be used to trace and pay those who voted for his party.
Furthermore, the team monitoring the voting exercise around LEA Kabala Doki, Kaduna led by CSE Wakilu Omokide also arrested two individuals suspected of vote buying. Upon their arrest, a total sum of N67, 500, a list containing names of voters with their PVC numbers and their bank account details amongst others, were recovered from them.
Investigation so far revealed that the major modus operandi of the suspects is to give cash, transfer money, coupons and send recharge cards to eligible voters in order to induce them to vote for their candidates. A search of their persons and phones revealed that most of them had transferred money into the accounts of some voters on the lists recovered from them.
Some of the items recovered from the suspects include, voters cards, monies, list containing names and account details of voters. Others are recharge cards.
Two persons were also arrested in Niger State for alleged vote buying.The first suspect, one Umar.B. Ibrahim was arrested at Peter Sarki Road polling unit.