2019: We’ll keep an eye on campaign spending — EFCC

EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu
EFCC Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has warned politicians against reckless spending and bribery as the 2019 general elections draw close.

Acting chairman of the commission, Ibrahim Magu, who spoke at an interaction with journalists on Wednesday, said the commission will monitor banks for suspicious transactions in the build up to the elections.

The EFFC, he said, is “very seriously pursuing this issue”, adding that the commission will partner with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to address the rising cases of vote-buying.

Mr Magu said investigation of election financing, which started with the investigation of the 2015 election funding, was aimed at “disinfecting the electoral process”.

He said excessive use of money during elections leads to “gross financial abuse and perversion of the electoral process” and enthrone “bad leadership which in turn creates corruption and bad governance.”

The EFCC boss said the commission will henceforth “bring banks and other collaborators to book.

“We will monitor how monies are withdrawn from the banks. We will start this from a month or two from the general elections, for unusual withdrawal of cash” he said.

He said movement of large amount of cash contravenes provisions of the Money Laundering Act.

Mr Magu revealed techniques bankers use to hide huge withdrawals by splitting transactions into bits of N10 Million threshold.

“They will do it in one day but they will put different dates ti make it three to four days but they actually do it in one day” he said.

The EFCC’s investigation of election financing after the 2015, he said, was a pioneering effort that will now make politicians more circumspect.

He said investigation into election spending was one of the areas touched by the commission that were otherwise thought impossible.

Mr Magu mentioned the other areas as investigation of military expenditure and probing of some senior lawyers and judges.

On the security probe, the EFCC chairman said “before now, military budgets were no-go areas that unfortunately had hemorrhaged our country badly.”

He said with the $2.1 billion Dasukigate investigation, numerous senior military officers and their civilian accomplices were investigated and tried.

Mr Magu added that investigation of corruption in the Judiciary by the EFCC has “helped in building public confidence again in our Judiciary”.

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