The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has said it has arrested more than 65 people for alleged inducement to vote.
According to the Commission, the suspects were arrested in the 28 states where gubernatorial and state assembly elections were held on Saturday.
The EFCC said: “Twenty of the suspects were arrested by officers from the Ilorin Zonal Command, while 13 suspects were caught by officers on election monitoring duty at the Kaduna Zonal Command.
“Poll monitoring teams in the Port Harcourt Zone arrested a total of 12 people for various offenses bordering on inducing voters with money to vote for their preferred candidates, while the Uyo Zonal Command made 4 arrests in Calabar. . The remaining suspects were arrested in the states of Gombe, Sokoto, Kebbi and Niger.
“Those arrested in Kaduna consist of 10 men and 3 women. They were detained by agents working in intelligence or encountered during the monitoring exercise. A suspect allegedly involved in vote buying was caught at School Road, Unguwan Rimi Kaduna. However, the suspect who initially resisted arrest is in custody, pending the conclusion of the investigation.”
According to the Commission, subsequent investigations revealed that the suspects’ modus operandi is to give cash, transfer money, coupons, and send recharge cards to eligible voters to induce votes for their candidates.
“A search of their persons and telephone numbers revealed that most of them had transferred money to the accounts of some voters on the lists recovered from them.
“Some of the items recovered from the suspects include voter cards, money, a list containing voter names and account details. Others are top-up cards,” the Commission explained.
The EFCC further noted that Kaduna Commando officers also arrested two people in the state of Niger for alleged vote buying.
The first suspect, a certain Umar.B. Ibrahim was arrested at the Peter Sarki Road voting unit according to intelligence.
EFCC said: “While searching his vehicle, an INEC (National Election Observer) ID tag with his name and photograph was discovered and also a letter of appointment from BOS (Bago Support Organization) as Liaison Director. Upon inquiring further, he revealed that a certain Mr. Usman Mohammed, who belongs to his political party, gave him the INEC nameplate.”
Meanwhile, the second suspect, Isa Salihu Bababida, was arrested at Unguwar Nassarawa with various lists of names, account numbers and BVNs.
In a similar exploit, in Port Harcourt, EFCC officers arrested 10 suspects in Port Harcourt who were allegedly involved in voter induction.
They were arrested at Moscow Road, Elekahia, Township, Mile 2, Ward 2, Voting Unit 2 and 30, Ogbum, Phalga, Port Harcourt.
According to the EFCC, the suspects were arrested with A4 papers containing the names, telephone numbers and account numbers of the people suspected of being voters.
Two youths allegedly involved in voter induction were also arrested at Ward 2 Polling Unit 2 and 30, Ogbum, PHALGA, Port Harcourt City.
“The four people arrested at different locations in Calabar by the Uyo Zonal Command team, led by CE Binta A. Rano, are currently volunteering their statements at the Criminal Investigation Department, Cross River State Police Command.
“The team arrested Esther Asuquo Edem, the female leader of one of the political parties in District 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 detained inside an unfinished building next to her district in South Calabar, while Etim and Eyo were arrested in District 12, Unit 11, at Kings Memorial School by Inyang Street, Abasi Obori, Calabar South,” EFCC noted.
The duo of Etim and Eyo had their own lists and money that they allegedly used to buy votes, he added.
Meanwhile, the 20 suspects arrested by the Ilorin Zonal Command are: Adekunle Ademola, Wasiu Raimi, Laaro Rasheed, Alagbe Taiwo, Boniface Victory, Kayode Toba, Adeoye Adetunji and Lawal Favour.
Others are: Abidoye Victoria Moradeyo, Magaji Iliasu, Abdulkadir Abdulmumini and Musa Lateef Olasunkanmi, 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 seized with incriminating items including cash of various sums, a notebook containing the list of voters’ names, a POS machine, mobile phones and cards. voter, among others.
After questioning, some of the suspects identified themselves as party agents, while some admitted to distributing money to induce voters.
In Gombe, the Gombe Zonal Command led by ACE Faruk M. Dogondaji, made 10 arrests for suspected voter induction and recovered 43 wrappers and N1,923,900 in cash.
“Investigations are still ongoing to determine the guilt of each suspect,” the EFCC noted.