Ahead of the commencement of the general elections on February 16 2019, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has warned against vote buying, threatening that offenders would be prosecuted.
EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, who disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, stated that the commission has promised to reward whistle-blowers who avail it with useful information on vote buyers.
He explained that the measure was part of the commission’s collaboration for successful elections.
According to Orilade, ” EFCC warns against votes buying ahead of Saturday’s presidential elections.
“The EFCC has also promised reward for any Nigerian with useful information leading to the arrest of culprits, saying that the reward is in accordance with the Whistle Blowing policy.
“The Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu, has repeatedly warned against voter’s inducement, saying that the full weight of the relevant laws will be applied against perpetrators and receivers of illicit funds to undermine the elections and its national security.
“We wish to warn Nigerians against those who intend to engage in voter’s inducement.
“There are existing laws in the Electoral Act, 2010 (EA), which forbid voters inducement.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Section 124 of the Electoral Act, 2010 says that any person paying money to electorates as bribe at any election is liable to punishment of N500, 000 fine or 12 months imprisonment or both upon conviction.
“Section 124 of the Electoral Act, 2010 also states that any person receiving any money or gift for voting or to refrain from voting at any election will be liable to a maximum fine of N500, 000 or 12 months imprisonment or both.
“We therefore urge Nigerians to avoid or resist inducement from corrupt politicians and vote for the candidates of their choice.
“We also seize this opportunity to state that that EFCC in collaboration with INEC will reward any patriotic citizen that provides authentic information leading to the apprehension of any culprit of vote buying in accordance with the Whistle Blowing Policy.
“Our investigations and intelligence gathering sources have revealed that certain corrupt politicians have perfected plans to pollute the electoral process with illicit and looted funds.
“We also have intelligence reports on the plans by some countries in collaboration with some politicians and looters to bring in foreign currencies to induce voters and undermine the elections.
“But our operatives in collaboration with sister agencies are doing everything possible to block the illicit funds and ensure credible polls in the country.
“It is our collective duty to resist attempts to corrupt our electoral process by exposing the evil perpetrators.”