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Wednesday, October 30

INEC: EFCC, ICPC to monitor vote-buying in Kogi, Bayelsa guber polls

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has employed the services of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to monitor cases of vote-buying during the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, said this on Tuesday during the quarterly consultative meeting with political parties in Abuja.
The states’ elections are scheduled to take place on November 16.
According to Yakubu, the EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) will monitor the movement of cash during the campaigns and on the election day.
He said all the commission’s officials and ad-hoc staff would be made to take an oath of neutrality before taking part in the electoral process.
He added that he would be accompanied by Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police, and heads of other security agencies to Bayelsa on November 7 and Lokoja, Kogi capital, on November 11, to address stakeholders.
The move, he said, is a part of INEC’s resolve to see to a peaceful, free and fair election “given the history of volatile politics in the two states”.
“The tradition of the commission if for the Chairman of INEC and the Inspector General of Police to address stakeholders a few days to the election, but this time around we decided to break with tradition, over a month to election in the two states, I personally visited Yenagoa and Lokoja and addressed the stakeholders and visited some local government areas,” Yakubu said.
“We plan to have more engagements. On the 7th of November, the IGP and I will be in Bayelsa to address the stakeholders. We’ll repeat the same thing in Lokoja on the 11th of November. Our objective is to speak early and loudly enough to all stakeholders on the necessity for peaceful conducts during campaigns, election day activities, to collation of results, declaration of winners and the aftermath.
“Electioneering campaigns have already begun, the appeal of the commission, once again, to political parties is to speak to your candidates and supporters and to advise them against hate speech, inciting statements, physical attacks on opponents, destruction of each other’s’ campaign materials and other sundry violations of the Electoral Act. 
“Of course, voter harassment, voter intimidation, including vote buying at polling units, constitutes violations of the Electoral Act. Prohibition of the use of mobile phones by voters in the voting cubicles is still in force. 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 electioneering campaigns and on election day.”

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