Ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in Osun, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said vote buyers and their customers risk being arrested and prosecuted.
Rotimi Oyekanmi, Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, in a statement in Abuja on Friday, said the decision was the outcome of a meeting between INEC and EFCC in Abuja.
The statement said that the INEC Chairman had led a team of National Commissioners to the meeting.
According to the statement, the issue of vote buying and selling had become worrisome to the two commissions and therefore evolved measures to address the menace.
Yakubu, however, said the incidence of ballot box snatching and kidnapping of INEC officials had reduced significantly due to a number of strong reforms INEC had put in place to strengthen the electoral process.
“We are here as part of our consultations with critical agencies that are connected to the electoral process.
“We have undertaken a number of innovations to strengthen the electoral system and these days, you hear less of ballot box snatching and kidnapping of INEC officials.
“But as we solve one problem, another one is coming up.
“Of immediate concern is the election we are holding on Saturday in Osun State and it is going to be the last major election before the 2019 general elections.
“We have taken steps as a Commission, but we need the support of the EFCC in this respect.
“Vote buying and selling is earning a bad reputation for our democracy, for our elections.
“We thought we should visit national institutions like the EFCC because they have the powers under the law to arrest, to investigate, to prosecute.
“They can assist us to stem this ugly tide of vote buying and selling,” the statement said.