The Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes commission, EFCC, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, has assured Nigerians of the readiness and competence of the Commission to tackle vote buying and other acts of electoral fraud, in a bid to make the 2023 elections transparent, free and fair.
He stated this in Abuja on Tuesday, February 14, 2023 at the North-Central Stakeholder’s Roundtable on the 2023 General Elections organized by the Centre For Transparency Advocacy, CTA.
According to him, the EFCC is adequately equipped to tackle any form of electoral fraud and called on Nigerians to shun any form of electoral malpractice, stressing that participatory engagement of Nigerians would make the elections successful.
The EFCC boss, who spoke through Assistant Director, Media and Publicity Unit of the Commission, Assistant Commander of the EFCC, ACE Dele Oyewale, emphasized that vote-buying and other electoral misconduct are human practices and can be stopped.
“Intelligence is about people, vote buying is about people and vote selling is about people, those that are selling votes are not ghosts, those that are buying are also not ghosts, they are all human beings. This shows that our individual and corporate engagements in trying to bring out what we see around us is important. In the EFCC, we have this mantra, if you see something, you must say something and we will do something. For any form of vote buying, we must all reject it, if we see anyone that is doing it, we must report him to the EFCC”, he said.
He stated that the EFCC is doing all it can within the ambit of the law to prevent vote buying and those arrested will face the law after the election.
“You see as a Commission, it is within the ambit of our mandate to investigate and prosecute cases of electoral fraud, vote buying, vote selling and any form of electoral malpractice, we have been doing it not just for this election but in the past, there are so many cases in court bordering on electoral malpractice”, he said.
Also at the meeting, Executive Director, Centre for Transparency Advocacy, CTA, Faith Nwadishi called for a more result- oriented method of combating electoral fraud through covert operations.
“The recent initiative of collaborating with the EFCC, ICPC, NFIU, NBC, IPAC and other stakeholders by INEC during the Stakeholders’ Summit aimed at addressing the influence of money on the 2023 general elections must be encouraged and the decisions reached implemented”, she said.
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