An agent of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was seen buying votes in the ongoing FCT area council elections on Saturday.
The agent was seen coercing voters, mostly women and young men, to vote for the APC candidates in PU 003, Kwali Yammah/Viewing Centre, Kwali.
He was handing out pieces of N200 notes to the voters.
The energetic man, in his mid-20s, was shouting at voters to cast their votes and come back for a N1,000 stipend – not minding the security personnel and election observers present.
“Make una go vote. Go vote, come collect your N1,000. Chairman APC, councillor APC. Vote, come show me, make I give you your money,” he said to a group of women who hovered around him asking for their share.
Other party agents suspected to be of the same party were heard shouting “sau biyu ne” in Hausa language which could be translated to mean “two times” or in this case, second term.
The agents are campaigning for the APC candidate, Danladi Chiya, who is contesting for a second term.
When confronted with the issue of vote buying, a Civil Defence officer, who refused to disclose his name, told PREMIUM TIMES that their job is to provide security during the exercise.
“This thing is not new. These people only come out to vote because of the money they can get afterwards.
“Our own is to provide security. We can’t engage them. And since it is still peaceful, no problem,” he said.
Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, did not answer a PREMIUM TIMES reporter’s call and text message on the issue.
The Electoral Act prohibits vote buying in an election. It says a voter commits an offence of bribery where “before or during an election directly or indirectly himself or by any other person on his behalf receives, agrees or contracts for any money, gift, loan, or valuable consideration, office, place of employment…”
The law also prescribes of fine of not more than N500,000 or imprisonment for 12 months or both when a person is found guilty.
Voter turnout is large, and voting is underway. Kwali Yammah/Viewing Centre or “town-hall” as the residents call it, is one of the polling units with the highest number of registered voters.
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