Vote-Buying: EFCC Intercepts Cash, Bales Of Cloth In Kaduna And Sokoto

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says its operatives have arrested suspects in possession of cash suspected to be for vote-buying in some states.

The anti-graft agency announced the development in a statement on Saturday.

The governorship and state houses of assembly elections are ongoing across the country.

Other arrests were made across Sokoto, Cross River, and Rivers, while items such as bales of fabric, “voter coupons”, among others were seized.

“Thirty-five (35) bales of fabric allegedly belonging to a principal officer of the Sokoto State House of Assembly was intercepted by the team of operatives on election monitoring assignment in Sokoto. The items have been moved to the Sokoto Zonal Command of the Commission pending the conclusion of the investigation,” the statement reads.

“In nearby Kebbi state, precisely Argungu local government area, the EFCC team on election monitoring duties also intercepted a suspect with a vehicle fully loaded with fabrics and other items suspected earmarked for voter inducement. The suspect was handed to the Police Area Command at Argungu, for safe keeping alongside the vehicle and the items, while the team proceeded with election duties.

“In Kaduna, 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.

“The vigilance of the monitoring teams also paid off in Port Harcourt, Rivers State where two ladies and six men were arrested at different locations (Moscow Road, Elekahia Township and Mile 2) for alleged involvement in voter inducement. The suspects were arrested with A4 papers that had names, telephone and account numbers of persons suspected to be voters.

“In Ekiti state, the monitoring team led by ACE II Eze Sunday arrested two persons, Abdulazeez Yusuf and Balogun Ojo for electoral fraud offences at Ward 13 unit 2 in Ado-Ekiti. Five voter’s cards of different identities were found on Abdulazeez Yusuf and Balogun Ojo.”

The EFCC also said one Esther Asuquo Edem, identified as the woman leader of a political party in ward 11 in Calabar south area of Cross River state, was arrested for alleged vote buying.

Edem was allegedly in possession of a list of persons suspected to be voters.

The list was also said to contain account numbers, while “thousands of Naira in cash” were also reportedly found in an uncompleted building beside her ward in Calabar south.

Meanwhile, two persons, “Edet Okon Etim and Asanwana Peter Eyo”, were also arrested at ward 12, Unit 11, at Kings Memorial School by Inyang street in Abasi Obori area of Calabar South, with “their own lists and money they allegedly used in buying votes”.