HEDA Praises EFCC on Arrest, Seeks Prosecution in Vote-Buying Incident
By Henri Uche, Lagos
As citizens and residents of Ekiti State decide who will become their next governor on Saturday, June 18, through ballot papers, the leading advocate for good governance and civil society organization anti -corruption (HEDA Resource Centre) commended the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the alleged arrest of party operatives for alleged vote buying.
Several outlets reported on Saturday that EFCC officials arrested an ‘APC operative’ for alleged vote buying, while another opposition PDP operative was arrested on the basis of a whistleblower. .
Reports indicate that the Commission arrested them and other party leaders for alleged vote buying in the gubernatorial elections that have yet to be concluded (at the time of this report’s filing) in the ‘State.
The officers were arrested at the polling station located at Ola Oluwa High School, Ilawe Road, Ado Ekiti, according to reports.
Previously, many concerned, including civil society organizations, independent election observers and party candidates, expressed their fear that bags of political money could spoil the whole process, hence hunger in the country.
Reacting to the arrest, HEDA Chairman Olanrewaju Suraju applauded the EFCC for swiftly arresting political party agents who were caught in the net of committing electoral malfeasance.
Suraju urged the anti-corruption agency to ensure that it not only prosecutes those who are captured, but also their handlers.
“We commend the EFCC for its swift actions in the elections in Ekiti. We demand full prosecution of anyone involved in vote buying or any other form of voter fraud and malfeasance,”
He encouraged citizens to stay put and monitor the whole process as well as help the EFCC and other security agencies in the fight against vote buying, among other electoral malfeasance.
“Nigerians are becoming more and more politically enlightened as days turn into weeks and weeks into months and so on. We have also observed that the electorate grows bolder to resist any form of intimidation from any person. We encourage citizens to monitor the whole process, to be vigilant and to report any form of act that could truncate the people’s choice. We expect people’s votes to count at the end of the snack,” he added.