In the 28 states where the gubernatorial and State Houses of Assembly elections were held, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, or EFCC, has detained no fewer than 65 people on suspicion of purchasing votes.
This was revealed in a statement released on Saturday by Wilson Uwujaren, the EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity.
According to the agency, 13 of the suspects were taken into custody by agents working as election monitors at the Kaduna Zonal Command, while 20 of the suspects were taken into custody by agents from the Ilorin Zonal Command.
According to Uwujaren, while the Uyo Zonal Command made four arrests in Calabar, the teams monitoring the polls in the Port Harcourt Zone detained a total of 12 people for various offenses related to paying voters to cast their ballots for their favorite candidates.
He noted that those arrested in Kaduna consist of 10 males and three females, adding that they were apprehended by operatives working on intelligence.
According to Uwujaren , “A suspect allegedly involved in vote buying was nabbed at School Road, Unguwan Rimi Kaduna. The suspect who initially resisted arrest, is however in custody, pending the conclusion of the investigation.
“Also in Kaduna, the tẹam led by Esmond Garba arrested one Buhari Muhammed in PU 002 Dogara Yaro Dagari area. He was arrested with voter coupons, which he confessed would be used to trace and pay those who voted for his party.
“Furthermore, the team monitoring the voting exercise around LEA Kabala Doki, Kaduna led by CSE Wakilu Omokide also arrested two individuals suspected of vote buying. Upon their arrest, a total sum of N67, 500, a list containing names of voters with their PVC numbers and their bank account details amongst others, were recovered from them.”
The spokesperson for the anti-graft agency noted that the investigation so far revealed that the major modus operandi of the suspects is to give cash, transfer money, coupons, and send recharge cards to eligible voters in order to induce them to vote for their candidates.
“A search of their persons and phones revealed that most of them had transferred money into the accounts of some voters on the lists recovered from them. Some of the items recovered from the suspects include voter cards, monies, list containing names and account details of voters. Others are recharge cards,” he said.