The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it will partner with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to curb vote buying, especially during the 2023 general elections.
The Chairman of the EFCC, Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa said this in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Thursday, shortly after defending the commission’s 2023 budget before the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption.
“We will continue to do what we have to do, we are trying to ensure that illegitimate funds are not finding their way into our electoral processes,” he said.
Bawa said that the commission would partner with INEC to arrest and prosecute persons involved in vote buying.
The commission’s chairman said that cases of those arrested for vote buying in previous elections were ongoing in court.
Bawa also thanked the National Assembly for supporting the commission, via landmark legislation designed to further assist it to deliver on its mandate.
“I want to use this opportunity to thank the National Assembly for their support as EFCC Chairman, particularly the committee on anti-corruption.
“They have been with us 100 per cent. You remember recently they have worked with us to pass landmark Acts and legislations and the President has assented to it.
“So, we are working with them towards ensuring that this country is free of economic and financial crimes,” he said.
The EFCC chairman lauded the redesigning of naira notes by the Central Bank of Nigeria,(CBN), adding it was a welcome development.
“We welcome the policy; it is a good thing that the country is designing its currency, because how can you have an effective monetary policy when you don’t have control over 85 per cent of your currencies?
“Out there, people are holding it, people are using it to speculate on foreign currencies, and so coming out with this policy, the government is trying to contend with it.”
According to him, with the new policy, the commission will be able to monitor people holding currencies legitimately and illegitimately.
“I am sure that those people that are holding back this money whether legitimately or illegitimately, we will be able to monitor and the right cause of the law will take its course,” he added.
On the fight against cybercrimes, Bawa urged youths to support the commission to rid the nation of cybercrimes and other criminal activities associated with cyberspace.
According to him, their activities are tarnishing the image of the country in the global arena.
Bawa revealed that as of Oct. 22, the commission succeeded in securing 2,847 convictions of cybercrime perpetrators.
“These are Nigerians from the youthful constituency, they should join me in fighting the scourge of Cybercrime.
“It is part of our mandate to fight cybercrime, to fight advance fee fraud, and we are working in conformity with the law.
“I am pleading with them not to stop doing such things at this time of transition of the country in terms of elections, in terms of government efforts to see that the economy is back on track,” Bawa added.