No fewer than 65 people were arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Saturday March 18, 2023 across the 28 states where Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections were conducted, for alleged voters inducement.
A statement issued by EFCC’s spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said 20 of the suspects were arrested by operatives from the Ilorin Zonal Command while 13 suspects were nabbed by operatives on election monitoring duty at the Kaduna Zonal Command.
“The teams monitoring the polls in the Port Harcourt Zone arrested a total of 12 people for various offences bordering on inducing voters with money to vote their preferred candidates, while the Uyo Zonal Command made 4 arrests in Calabar. The remaining suspects were arrested in Gombe, Sokoto , kebbi and Niger states.
“Those arrested in Kaduna consist of 10 male and 3 female. They were apprehended by operatives working on intelligence or chanced upon them during the monitoring exercise. 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 ACE II 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,” he said.
“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,” he added.
Uwujaren said investigation so far revealed that the major modus operandi of the suspects was 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, voters cards, monies, list containing names and account details of voters. Others are recharge cards.
“Officers of the Kaduna Command also arrested two persons in Niger State for alleged vote buying. The first suspect, one Umar.B. Ibrahim was arrested at Peter Sarki Road polling unit based on an intelligence.
“Upon searching his vehicle, an INEC ID tag (domestic election observer) bearing his name and photograph and also a letter of appointment from BOS ( Bago Support Organisation) as Director Liaison, were uncovered. On further enquiry, he disclosed that a certain Mr. Usman Mohammed, who belongs to his political party gave him the INEC ID tag .