ICPC to monitor Bayelsa, Kogi governorship polls

ICPC Head Office
ICPC Head Office

The Nigerian anti-graft agency, ICPC, says it would monitor the Saturday’s governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.

The commission disclosed this on Friday in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES.

The agency said its monitoring team would be on the lookout for vote-buying and selling, as well as other corruption-related acts.

According to the commission, the infractions contravene sections 8 and 9 in addition to other relevant provisions of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

“The monitoring exercise is in response to the invitation by the Chairman of the Independent National Election Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, for ICPC to participate in ridding the electoral processes in Nigeria of corrupt practices.

“This intervention is also in furtherance of ICPC’s current strategy of engaging in exercises that have macro rather than micro impact on various sectors of the country for the benefit of the generality of citizens as it is doing with Constituency Projects tracking and highway corruption where sundry acts of corruption are being tackled with commendable results.

“The Commission’s operatives have therefore been primed to deal appropriately with perpetrators of any acts of corruption in accordance with the law, no matter their social status in both gubernatorial elections.”

The ICPC also urged voters to go out and exercise their franchise in accordance with the law.

“Voters in both states are therefore enjoined to go out on election day and perform their civic obligations while eschewing all acts that can make them run afoul of the law.”

Vote-buying begins

An election observation group, YIAGA Africa, through its Watching The Vote (WTV) project, in its pre-election reports, said voters in Bayelsa and Kogi states are already trading their permanent voters’ cards for N500 and N1,000 ahead of the governorship elections in the two states.

The group said its findings also revealed that political parties were moving from house to house ”documenting names and addresses of voters with PVCs”.

Vote buying is a practice of inducing voters to make them vote for a particular candidate during an election. It has remained a major concern during Nigerian elections.

PREMIUM TIMES also reported how the U.S. Embassy on Thursday said it would monitor the two states’ elections and called on political actors to be mindful of their conduct.

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