The Independent National Electoral Commission has revealed that it will deploy the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission to arrest vote buyers during the November 16 governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states.
The electoral body on Tuesday stated that all its officials and ad-hoc staff would be placed under official oaths, and a peace deal would be signed by political parties contesting in the Governorship election.
The Commission stated that the deal would be signed in Yenagoa on November 7 and in Lokoja on November 11.
INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, made this known during the commission’s quarterly meeting with political parties, under the aegis of Inter-Party Advisory Council.
Yakubu revealed that the Kogi West senatorial election would have cost INEC over N300m, but because it was merged with the governorship election in the state, INEC would spend only N10m.
INEC chairman stated that the anti-corruption body would play a key role during the elections to try to dissuade and prevent vote-buying.
According to him, the Gombe State office of the EFCC has secured the first conviction for vote-buying during elections.
He said, “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 campaigns and on the election day.”
“Prior to 2015, some suspected vote-buyers were arrested by the EFCC. Some have been charged to court. The latest update that I received indicated that the EFCC has secured the first conviction in Gombe State. That is certainly a cause for celebration.”
He further stated that the electoral body would be working with all security agencies to ensure the safety of both men and sensitive materials during the elections.
Speaking on the signing of peace accords in Kogi and Bayelsa states, the INEC chairman said he would be accompanied to the two events by the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu and representatives of other security agencies.