The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu has said that electoral corruption is an “open sesame” that has held the country down.
Magu noted that a government that pays its way into power is hardly expected to be accountable as its priority upon assumption of office.
The acting chairman stated this on Tuesday through the Secretary of the Commission, Ola Olukoyede at the National Policy Dialogue on Eradicating Electoral Corruption (Vote-Buying) at the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria on Tuesday.
He noted that the dialogue was apt and critical to “our collective aspiration to clean up the institutions and process of election management for the good governance of our nation”.
Magu said: “That is the open sesame to corruption in public life, a phenomenon that has held us down as a nation.
“It was in appreciation of the damage, which the incidence of vote buying does to the integrity of our electoral processes that we resolved to play a more active role in stemming the practice in the just concluded general election.
“The EFCC’s intervention was moderated by our understanding of the pattern of vote buying in the elections that were held in two states, Ekiti and Osun states, in 2018.
“To stem the ugly practice, the Commission decided to employ a combination of preventive and enforcement strategies.
“Before the political actors became aware that the commission had become unusually interested in the electoral processes, the EFFC held sensitization meetings with critical stakeholders in the financial sector, impressing on them the need not to lend their institutions to be used as vehicles to subvert the will of the people.
“Some of the stakeholders included bankers and Bureau De Change Operators.”