We Are Set to Prosecute Vote Buyers - INEC - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Wednesday, July 5, 2023

We Are Set to Prosecute Vote Buyers - INEC

As a fallout of the 2023 general election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it has concluded plans to prosecute those involved in alleged vote buying and other associated violations.

This was disclosed Tuesday by the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu while addressing Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in Abuja.

His words, "I can also confirm that we have received 215 case files from the Nigeria Police following their arrest and the conclusion of investigation into electoral offences arising from the 2023 General Election. 

"We are working with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to prosecute the alleged offenders. Already, the NBA has submitted a list of 427 lawyers across the country who have volunteered to render pro bono services to the Commission. They are not charging legal fees but by mutual agreement the Commission will provide a token amount to cover for filing fees/expenses. We are most grateful to NBA and its President, Yakubu Maikyau SAN, for this historic collaboration. 

"Similarly, we are working with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) on the prosecution of cases relating to vote buying and associated violations."

Recall that one of the high profile vote buying cases is in Ogun state where the governorship candidate of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Ladi Adebutu was alleged to have preloaded N10,000 into 200,000 Verve cards in the name of an unregistered foundation named after his mother, the late Mrs Veronica Adebutu.

Already, the Police have concluded investigation and charged the Managing Director of Zenith Bank and other top officials, along with Adebutu, PDP agents and POS operators to court for money laundering.

Adebutu, on the other hand, has been running around with a view to avoiding honouring Police invitation and having his day in court for the grave infractions against the Electoral Act 2022 and the Constitution. 

The defeated PDP governorship candidate, who initially ran abroad, claiming to be on medical check up and that only his doctor would  determine  his return date, slipped back into the country yesterday and has thrown heavy personal security around himsel. He is expected to be arraigned in court any time from now. 

While some PDP agents and POS operators arrested on the day of governorship election have made useful statements to the Police, Adebutu on his own, approached  the court seeking restraining orders to stop the Police from  arresting, detaining and prosecuting him, or in the alternative, for the police to be ordered by the court to postpone such trial till after the conclusion of his petition against the Governor of Ogun State  at the Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta.

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