The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has apprehended 14 (Fourteen) people for allegedly buying and selling votes in the ongoing governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States.
The anti-graft agency said in a statement on Saturday night that its operatives acted on intelligence reports and carried out operations that started several days before the elections.
“The EFCC operatives arrested 14 (Fourteen) suspected vote buyers in Otueke, Adawari playgrounds in Bayelsa State and at various polling units in Imo and Kogi States,” the statement read.
The agency also said it recovered N11,040,000 (Eleven Million, Forty Thousand Naira only) from the suspects, which included N9,310,000 (Nine Million, Three Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira) from Bayelsa and N1,730,000 (One Million, Seven Hundred and Thirty Thousand Naira) from Imo.
“Two vehicles were also seized from the suspects. They will be arraigned in court as soon as investigations are concluded,” the statement added.
The EFCC had earlier warned that it would not tolerate any form of electoral fraud, such as vote-buying and selling, and other violations of the Electoral Act.
“The Commission’s monitoring operations are to tackle any form of voter’s inducement through vote buying, vote selling, and other manipulation of the electoral processes at variance with the Electoral Act,” the EFCC said.
Similarly, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) deployed its operatives to the 56 Local Government Areas and 649 Wards in the three states to monitor and prevent electoral malpractices.
“The Commission’s operatives have been deployed to the 56 Local Government Areas and 649 Wards to monitor and prevent vote buying and other electoral malpractices at the various polling units during the electoral exercise,” the ICPC said.