A government that buys your votes cannot be accountable - Magu declares
Ibrahim Magu, the acting chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has described electoral malpractices asthe worst form of corruption in Nigeria.
According to Magu, electoral corruption undermines the will of the people and invests power in illegitimate hands.
A statement by the EFCC quoted Magu as saying a government that pays its way into power is hardly expected to be accountable as he argued that such administration’s priority upon assumption of office would be how to recoup its investment.
Legit.ng understands that Magu said this through the secretary of the commission, Ola Olukoyede at the national policy dialogue on eradicating electoral corruption (vote-buying) at the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria on Tuesday, April 16, 2019.
The EFCC boss noted that the dialogue was critical to“our collective aspiration to clean up the institutions and process of election management for the good governance of our nation.
It was in appreciation of the damage, which the incidence of vote buying does to the integrity of our electoral processes that we resolved to play a more active role in stemmingthe practice in the just concluded general election.
The EFCC’s intervention was moderated by our understanding of the pattern of vote buying in the elections that were held intwo states, Ekiti and Osun states, in 2018.
He said to stem what it called ‘the ugly practice’, it decided to employ a combination ofpreventive and enforcement strategies.
He further said before the political actors became aware that the commission had become unusually interested in the electoral processes, the EFCC held sensitisation meetings with critical stakeholders in the financial sector, impressing on them the need not to lend their institutions to be used as vehicles to subvert the will of the people.
Our engagement with them was informed by our knowledge of the roles which some of themplayed during the 2015 general election, helping politicians to move huge sums of money which were intended to be used to compromise election officials and other actors in the electoral process,”he said.
He explained also how the commission had to engage with law enforcement agencies with anti-money laundering mandate in neighbouring countries to check incidence of illicit financial flows before, during and after the general elections.
He said:“Additionally, we stepped up surveillance of financial system, to track suspicious cash movement which led to some arrests.
These measures, we believe, helped to reduce the amount of cash available to politicians for vote buying.