Crime

Anti-corruption Day: Vote Buying in 2023 Comes Under EFCC’s Watchful Eagle Eyes

Representatives of anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria at a ceremony to mark the 2022 International Anti-corruption Day at Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja. Friday, 9 December 2022.

The menace of vote-buying which threatens to tear the fibre of election integrity in Africa’s largest democracy, Nigeria, has come under watchful eagle eyes of the country’s most feared anti-corruption watchdog, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

EFCC Chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa has in furtherance of its renewed effort called on members of the public and stakeholders on Friday, 9 December 2022 to join hands in promoting the integrity of Nigeria’s election process to discourage vote trading.

The EFCC chairman who spoke through the Commission’s Director of Operations, Abdulkarim Chukkol, at a ceremony to mark the 2022 International Anti-corruption Day at Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, noted that the political recruitment process was crucial to the consolidation of the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

“The tragedy of recent elections in Nigeria is the demon of votes trading. Both the political class who offer money and the voters who sell their votes for pittance are guilty. The consequence for the latter category is harsh. When electorates sell their votes, they lose the moral high ground to ask for accountable leadership.

“A candidate who pays his way into power or gets into office via the influence of a godfather, is least expected to be accountable to the people. His priorities in office will be unrestrained benevolence to his godfather and recouping the resources spent in acquiring power”, he said.

He recalls that operatives of the Commission had been involved in the monitoring of elections since 2019, including the recently concluded governorship elections in Osun and Ekiti State. This, he said, “demonstrates the Commission’s commitment to reducing, if not eliminating, the unbridled use of money to manipulate the electoral process”.

The EFCC commended the global theme for this year’s anti-corruption day, “UNCAC at 20: Uniting the World Against Corruption. According to him, UNCAC has had a revolutionary impact in mobilising and directing global action against corruption.” Suffice to say that the world truly owes this organ a debt of commendation. And how best to do this than rededicating and recommitting ourselves to the implementation of all the recommendations of this important anti- corruption organ,” he said.

The ceremony was attended by heads and representatives of anti-corruption agencies including the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, Dr Ogbonaya Orji.