In a pre-emptive move to curb electoral fraud during the ongoing governorship elections in Imo, Bayelsa, and Kogi states, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have arrested 14 suspected vote buyers in Otueke, Adawari playgrounds in Bayelsa, and at various polling units in Imo and Kogi.
According to a statement by EFCC Spokesperson Dele Oyewale on Saturday in Abuja, the arrests were made as a result of intelligence-driven operations that commenced several days before the elections. The suspects were apprehended in the act of attempting to compromise the integrity of the electoral process.
The EFCC successfully intercepted a total sum of N11,040,000 during the operations. This included N9,310,000 seized from suspected vote buyers and sellers in Bayelsa, and N1,730,000 intercepted from electoral fraud suspects across Imo State. Additionally, two vehicles linked to the suspects were also apprehended. The recovered funds and evidence will be pivotal in building a case against the arrested individuals.
Dele Oyewale emphasized that the EFCC remains committed to its mandate of ensuring transparency and integrity in electoral processes. The swift actions taken by the Commission are in line with its drive to prevent politicians and their agents from engaging in vote buying during the elections.
The arrests highlight the proactive stance of the EFCC in tackling electoral fraud and associated financial crimes. As the investigations progress, the suspects are expected to be charged to court, reinforcing the commitment of the EFCC to hold individuals accountable for compromising the democratic process.
It is noteworthy that the EFCC had deployed personnel to monitor the governorship elections with the specific aim of curbing electoral fraud. The interception of funds and the arrest of suspected vote buyers underscore the importance of such measures in maintaining the sanctity of the electoral process and preserving the democratic ideals of the nation.