ICPC deploys 400 operatives to checkmate vote-buying



By Isaac Aregbesola

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on Saturday said it deployed 400 officers and operatives to prevent vote buying in governorship and Houses of Assembly elections.

The ICPC Spokesperson, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, said in a statement in Abuja that the officers were already operating at the various wards and polling units.

Azuka, said that the Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, addressed the election monitoring teams before their deployment.

She quoted Owasanoye as saying that “Our participation in the election monitoring is a call to an exceptional national duty.

“Our relevance is neither an after-thought nor happenstance but arose from the recognition of our contribution to national development through the implementation of our enforcement and preventive mandates in combating corruption and associated ills.

“Our importance led to the commission being made a member of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) which comprises our sister agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Military, Police, Department of State Security and other security agencies.

“It has the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Office of National Security Adviser as co-chairs. All these agencies will monitor the elections.”

Owasanoye urged the officers to follow the ICPC guidelines for election monitoring and also comply with the ICCES code of conduct and rules of engagement for security personnel on election duty.

The ICPC boss also counseled the monitoring teams to act with discipline and integrity and directed them to put their body cameras to effective use.

Azuka said the reports from field operations by the Election Monitoring Teams had been sent to the ICPC Situation Room at the Headquarters.

“A vote-buyer at the Ba Sarki Polling Unit 002 central capital of Adamawa State fled on sighting the ICPC monitoring team.

‘“Voting was observed to be going on smoothly in the Surulere area of Lagos State and some other locations in the state.

“ICPC Election Monitoring Teams in Enugu State observed voter apathy at the polling units as only a few voters were on ground,” she said.

She said that ICPC Election Monitoring Teams were also monitoring the election along with some international observers in some polling units in other states.

She recalled that the anti-corruption agency had on Feb. 25, arrested nine vote-buyers in Osun, Ondo, Borno, Akwa Ibom and Sokoto States during the Presidential and National Assembly elections. (NAN)