*Deploys operatives in 36 states to arrest vote buyers
*Storms Tinubu, Obi’s polling units
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja and Segun James in Lagos
A lecturer with the Sarwuan Tarka University (formerly known as the University of Agriculture), Makurdi, Benue State, Dr. Cletus Tyokyaa was yesterday arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged vote-buying.
He was arrested at the RCM Polling Unit in Daudu, Guma Local Government Area of the state with the sum of N306,700 in various denominations stashed in his car.
The EFCC in a statement on its Facebook handle said luck ran out on Tarka when “he drove to the voting centre which was different from his polling unit and tried to run upon sighting operatives of the commission.”
This is coming as the commission said it sent operatives to all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to catch politicians using cash and other items to buy vote.
Similarly, the commission arrested a man (name not disclosed) for alleged vote buying with N194,000 at the Gidan Zakka polling unit, Goron Dutse area of Kano Municipal Local Government, Kano State.
EFCC also said: “A party agent buying votes through bank transfers was also arrested in Abaji in the Federal Capital Territory, while two persons, Stanley Nsemo and Eno Amponsah were arrested in Calabar, Cross River State with the sum of $450 and N156, 800 on suspicion of alleged votes buying.”
Speaking further, the commission said it arrested a woman, Maryam Mamman Alhaji, with 18 voter cards in the Badarwa area of Kaduna, Kaduna State.
“She was nabbed after undercover operatives pretended they had voter cards and were desperate to sell them.
She is currently being grilled by operatives of the Kaduna Zonal Command of the EFCC, with a view to unravelling other members of her syndicate whom she claimed are also collecting voters’ cards and paying monies through PoS or direct bank transfers.
Meanwhile, the operatives of the commission yesterday stormed the polling units of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu; his running mate, Kashim Shettima and the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi.
The team who arrived Tinubu’s unit at PU 085, Ward 3, Sunday Adigun, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos State, were seen parading the polling centre.
However, they did not disclose what prompted the visit to journalists.
The officials visited the home of the former Anambra State governor in an unmarked white Toyota Hiace bus but the candidate was absent. They proceeded to Amatutu Ward 2, Polling Unit 019 at exactly 10:25 a.m.
They, however, did not grant interviews to journalists and no reason has been ascertained for the purpose of the visit.
The leader of the EFCC team was seen having a chat with the members of INEC in the unit, urging them to call the commission’s helpline if they needed help.
Meanwhile, the EFCC said yesterday that it sent operatives to all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to catch politicians using cash and other items to buy votes.
EFCC Chairman, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, disclosed this while speaking in a webinar organised by a women’s group, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC).
Bawa admitted that though some politicians were caught with cash in local and foreign currencies before election day, the agency was not seeing incidents of outright cash for votes on voting day.
However, the chairman stated that there had been cases of politicians sharing food, clothing, and gift cards with potential voters to avoid being charged for vote buying. The commission would monitor each case as it developed. Bawa said: “So far, so good; we are not seeing outright vote buying on election day. The incident actually took place before the election day, but we ask Nigerians to avail us of any information that may lead to the arrest of the elements engaged in the illicit act.
“We want all Nigerians to understand the importance of ensuring that no politician uses the money to compromise the electoral process as such elements would seek to recoup their money rather than provide good governance once they get into office,” Bawa said.
The EFCC chairman also spoke on the ongoing attempt by an unnamed governor to instigate some elements to protest against him, pointing out that the said governor and some of his officials are being investigated for money laundering running into billions of Naira.
The chairman said when it became clear to the governor that the protests were not working, he procured a high court in his state, which has no jurisdiction in the matter already being heard by a Federal High Court in Abuja, to slam him with a contempt charge and bench warrant, which the commission has appealed against.