Presidential Poll: Intensify crackdown on Vote-buyers, ANEEJ Urges EFCC
…. lauds Interception of N32.4m in Lagos
BENIN CITY, NIGERIA. February 24, 2023… The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice ANEEJ has lauded the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the interception of the sum of N32,400,000 in Lagos, allegedly suspected to be used for vote buying in tomorrow’s presidential and National Assembly polls, urging the anti-graft agency to intensify its efforts in this regard across the country.
ANEEJ Executive Director, Rev David Ugolor made the commendation today shortly after confirming that the anti-graft agency actually tracked the money allegedly planned to be used to undermine tomorrow’s elections in Lagos State, noting that the EFCC’s action resonates with the Gelegele Declaration by over 200 Civil Society Organisations on Wednesday which called on the Anti-Corruption agencies to go after vote-traders bent on undermining the 2023 polls.
“The current scarcity of Naira notes across the country which has increased hardship amongst citizens is attributable to hoarding by some unscrupulous politicians acting in connivance with some crooked bank officials with the intention of perpetrating vote-buying and other electoral maleficence,” Ugolor noted.
He called on the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies to go after all suspects and cease all the monies meant to compromise the Presidential and National Assembly elections nationwide. He called on members of the public to volunteer information to the EFCC to enable the arrest of all suspects.
“We understand the suspect involved in Lagos has been taken into custody, the suspect should be thoroughly investigated with a view to unmasking the big masquerade behind the offence. The EFCC should leave no stone unturned and there should be no sacred cows . It should spread its dragnet across the country,” Ugolor admonished.
He re-stated ANEEJ’s avid commitment to a peaceful, free, fair and transparent 2023 polls and assured that his organisation will work with all stakeholders to ensure that the electoral process is not compromised by devious individuals or groups.
It will be recalled that on Wednesday over 200 Civil Society Organisations led by ANEEJ and Ijaw Youth Movement converged on Gelegele, Ovia North East Local Government where the Gelegele Declaration on the 2023 Elections was issued. In the document, the CSOs demanded a zero tolerance tovote-buying by candidates and their supporters for the 2023 general elections and called on them to refrain from all acts of vote-buying or vote-trading in any form whatsoever as vote-buying is capable of undermining the credibility of the electoral process.
The Gelegele Declaration reads in part, “we callon security agents to provide top notch security across the country to ensure that no form of violence is allowed to fester in any part of the country, particularly in flash points where insurgents have threatened to unleash mayhem. Again, security agents deployed for the elections should promptly arrest anyone or group of persons found sharing money at polling stations or other designated election materials sharing centres and venues. Security agents must be professional in the discharge of their election duties and must shun any form of inducements or act of corruption.”
The CSOs in the declaration further Urged the United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada and European Union Countries’ Governments to sanction any individual or political party involved in vote-buying or election violence. “They should be placed on their watch list and denied visas/entry into their countries,” they stated.