EFCC arrests more than 65 people for incitement to vote (photos)
As many as 65 people were arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Saturday, March 18, 2023 in the 28 states where gubernatorial and state house of assembly elections were held, for alleged incitement to vote .
A statement from the commission said that twenty of the suspects were arrested by officers from Ilorin Area Command while 13 suspects were apprehended by election monitoring officers from Kaduna Area Command. Poll watch teams in the Port Harcourt area arrested a total of 12 people for various offenses bordering on enticing voters with money to vote for their favorite candidates, while Uyo Area Command made 4 arrests in Calabar. The other suspects were arrested in Gombe, Sokoto, kebbi and Niger states.
Those arrested in Kaduna are 10 men and 3 women. They were apprehended by agents working on intelligence or stumbled upon them during the surveillance exercise. A suspect allegedly involved in vote buying has been arrested in School Road, Unguwan Rimi Kaduna. The suspect, who initially resisted arrest, is however in custody pending the conclusion of the investigation. Also in Kaduna, the Tẹam led by ACE II Esmond Garba arrested a Buhari Muhammed in PU 002 Dogara Yaro Dagari area. He was arrested with voter coupons, which he confessed would be used to trace and pay those who voted for his party.
Separately, the Voting Exercise Monitoring Team around LEA Kabala Doki, Kaduna led by CSE Wakilu Omokide also arrested two individuals suspected of vote buying. Upon their arrest, a total sum of N67,500, a list containing the names of voters with their PVC numbers and bank details among others, was recovered from them.
So far, the investigation has revealed that the main modus operandi of the suspects is to give money, transfer cash, coupons and send top-up cards to eligible voters in order to induce them to vote for their candidates. A search of their persons and their telephones revealed that most of them had transferred money to the accounts of certain voters whose lists had been recovered.
Some of the items recovered from the suspects include voters’ cards, money, a list containing voters’ names and account details. Others are recharge cards.
Officers from Kaduna Command also arrested two people in Niger State for alleged vote buying. The first suspect, a certain Umar.B. Ibrahim was arrested at the Peter Sarki Road polling station on the basis of a tip. During the search of his vehicle, an INEC (National Election Observer) identification tag bearing his name and photograph as well as a letter of appointment from BOS (Bago Support Organization) as Liaison Director were discovered. . Upon investigation, he revealed that a Mr. Usman Mohammed, who belongs to his political party, gave him the INEC ID tag. The second suspect, Isa Salihu Bababida, was arrested in Unguwar Nassarawa with multiple lists of names, account numbers and BVN.
In Port Harcourt, Election Monitoring Teams arrested 10 suspects in Port Harcourt who were allegedly involved in incitement to vote in Moscow Road, Elekahia, Township, Mile 2, Ward 2 polling Unit 2 and 30, Ogbum, Phalga, Port Harcourt. The suspects were arrested with A4 papers which included the names, phone numbers and account numbers of people suspected of being voters. Additionally, two youths who were allegedly involved in incitement to vote were arrested in Voting Units 2 and 30 of Ward 2, Ogbum, PHALGA, Port Harcourt City.
The four people arrested at different locations in Calabar by the Uyo Area Command team, led by CE Binta A. Rano, are currently making their statements to the Criminal Investigation Department of the Cross River State Police Command .
the team arrested one Esther Asuquo Edem, the female leader of one of the political parties in Ward 11, Calabar South, Cross River State and two others, Edet Okon Etim and Asanwana Peter Eyo, for alleged vote buying in Calabar. The female leader, who had a list of suspected voters, their account numbers and thousands of naira in cash, was apprehended inside an unfinished building next to her neighborhood in Calabar South, while Etim and Eyo were arrested at Ward 12, Unit 11, Kings Memorial School by Inyang Street, Abasi Obori, South Calabar.
The duo of Etim and Eyo had their own lists with them and the money they would have used to buy votes
The 20 suspects arrested by Ilorin Zone Command are Adekunle Ademola, Wasiu Raimi, Laaro Rasheed, Alagbe Taiwo, Boniface Victory, Kayode Toba, Adeoye Adetunji, Lawal Favour, Abidoye Victoria Moradeyo, Magaji Iliasu, Abdulkadir Abdulmumini and Musa Lateef Olasunkanmi . The others are Marudeen Sadiq, Abogunrin Jimoh Oluwasesan, Funmilayo Lawal, Olawuyi Bolarin, Garuba Ismail, Abiola Abogunrin, Amidu Tiamiyu and Usman Abdulazeez.
The suspects, who were arrested at different polling stations across the state, were arrested with incriminating items, including cash of various amounts, a notebook containing the list of voters’ names, a point-of-sale terminal, cell phones and voter cards, among others.
During questioning, some of the suspects identified themselves as party agents while others admitted to distributing money to incite voters.
In Gombe, the Gombe Zone Command led by ACE Faruk M. Dogondaji, made 10 arrests for alleged incitement to vote and recovered 43 packages and N1,923,900 in cash.
Investigations are still ongoing to determine the guilt of each suspect.