Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission would be deployed at polling centres to arrest vote buyers in the November 16 governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states, the Independent National Electoral Commission said on Tuesday.
The commission also said that while all its officials and ad-hoc staff would be placed under official oaths, all the political parties participating in the two elections would sign peace deals in Yenagoa on November 7 and in Lokoja on November 11.
The chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, stated this during the commission’s quarterly meeting with political parties, under the aegis of Inter-Party Advisory Council.
Yakubu observed that the Kogi West senatorial election would have cost INEC over N300m, but said because it was being merged with the governorship election in the state, the commission would spend only N10m.
The INEC chairman said the EFCC and the ICPC would play active roles during the elections to try to dissuade and prevent vote buying.
According to him, Gombe State office of the EFCC has secured first conviction for vote buying during elections.
He said, “We are going to deepen our collaboration with the EFCC and the ICPC in this respect. They will keep eyes on the movement of cash during campaigns and on the election day.
“Prior to 2015, some suspected vote-buyers were arrested by the EFCC. Some have been charged to court. The latest update that I received indicated that the EFCC has secured the first conviction in Gombe State. That is certainly a cause for celebration.”
Yakubu said the commission would be working with all security agencies to ensure the safety of both men and sensitive materials during the elections.
Speaking on the signing of peace accords in Kogi and Bayelsa states, the INEC chairman said he would be accompanied to the two events by the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu and representatives of other security agencies.
Earlier, the chairman of IPAC, Chief Peter Ameh, called on INEC to “caution the Nigerian Senate for calling for the de-registration of registered political parties.”