Nigerians reacting to the news story of the deployment of officers from the Economic and Financial Crime Commission on voting day have enquired about the relevance of the anti-graft agency to an election.
The Commission said it has deployed its officers for Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi elections taking place on November 11.
During the previous state governorship and state Assembly elections in March, the EFCC said it arrested no fewer than 56 persons for alleged voters’ inducement.
Established in 2002, the EFCC’s primary mission is to ‘eradicate economic and financial crimes through prevention, enforcement and coordination’.
While many debate the relevance of the EFCC to an election, the Electoral Act 2022 conferred on the Independent National Electoral Commission, the power to engage necessary security personnel for the successful conduct of election.
“Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law and for purpose of securing the vote, the Commission shall be responsible for the deployment of relevant security personnel necessary for elections or registration of voters and shall assign them in the manner determined by the Commission in consultation with the relevant security agencies” Electoral Act 2022 Part IV – 27 (3) reads.
The anti-graft agency had made a series of arrests in a bid to curb vote buying and illegality during the election. Some of the arrests include; politicians holding huge cash; a lecturer with 18 Permanent Voters Cards, and intercepted N32.4 million allegedly meant for vote-buying.
Stating the reason for deployment in the off-cycle election, the EFCC wrote in a statement: “The Commission’s monitoring operations are to tackle any form of voter’s inducement through vote buying, vote selling and other manipulation of the electoral processes at variance with the Electoral Act.”