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20 suspects arrested for vote-buying

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) operatives on Saturday arrested 20 persons for alleged vote-buying during the governorship and state House of Assembly elections in Kwara State.

The Zonal head of EFCC, Ilorin, Mr. Isyaku Sharu, who confirmed the development to journalists in his office, said the suspects were between the ages of 18 and 25.

He said: ‘‘Majority of the people arrested were directly involved in vote-buying. We got credible intelligence and we acted on it. Some of the arrests were made in Omu-Aran, Ilorin South, and Ilorin West. We were all over the 16 local government areas.

“We recovered huge amounts of cash and point of sales (POS) machines. We are still investigating the matter.”

Sharu also disclosed that before the elections, the commission embarked on an enlightenment programme on vote-buying in the media.

“We informed them that vote-buying was a criminal offence as structured in the Electoral Act.

“We published our numbers for people to call and during the last elections, we got calls and we were able to arrest one person for vote buying and we will soon charge him to court,” the EFCC official added.

Dogara thumbs up INEC over conduct of governorship, assembly elections

The former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Saturday commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the seamless conduct of the governorship and state assembly elections.

Dogara, who addressed journalists after casting his vote at Gwarangah PU 007 in the Bogoro local government area of the state, said there was a significant improvement in the electoral process as against the glitches experienced in the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections.

He said: “I think there is a much better improvement than the process we witnessed during the presidential election.

“During the last election, it took me five hours to cast my vote but as soon as I came this time around, almost the entire line was cleared off and I think voting is generally peaceful in my own part of Bauchi.

“I can’t say so of other local government areas but I think there is a much-improved process than what we saw during the presidential election.

“If the process is going as smoothly as I saw at my polling unit across Nigeria, then I think it’s something that every decent person in this country should commend.

“I commend them for what I’ve seen while I wait for the judgment for the assessment from other polling units before I can now take a final position.”

He also expressed satisfaction with the high voter turnout in the area, saying the gesture was a clear indication of a movement for liberation.

“We know how elections are conducted in Nigeria and once elections are free, fair, and credible, we shouldn’t have any problem and everybody should accept it because the people ultimately decide who will govern them.

“We want a situation where Bauchi people will decide whom they want to govern them.

“If malpractices overwhelm what we call decency in terms of the electoral process, then, certainly I will advise my candidate to stand up, challenge, and fight for the Bauchi people,” the ex-speaker added.


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