James Ojo, Abuja
Barely a week to the Presidential election, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has raised the alarm that illicit funds to corrupt the electoral process have found their ways into the financial system.
EFCC alleged that the illicit funds were proceeds of stolen money earlier invested in acquiring properties abroad that were later sold and channeled back to the country.
Such monies, according to the acting Chairman of the commission, Ibrahim Magu, were to be used to buy votes and to corrupt the electoral system.
Represented by Dr. Aminu Gusau, he told the delegate conference of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC, in Abuja that his recent visit to Dubai and Ghana revealed much about the new tactics of the corrupt politicians.
“It is a charge to duty and responsibility that all hands must be on deck to ensure that the electioneering process is not corrupted by moneybags, who have deployed tactics in various guises to buy the votes of the electorate thereby disenfranchising them of carrying out their civic duty.
“On our part, we are keenly monitoring the movement of cash in the system, and are awake to our responsibility of ensuring that the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 are strictly adhered to, especially as it relates to election funding,” he stated.
Magu told the union that the commission was deeply worried about the growing incidents of vote buying by desperate politicians and tasked the electorates to resist it for a new Nigeria to emerge after the election.
“The dream of ensuring a national re-birth and development of the Nigerian economy and the country’s image in the international community is not a day’s affair.
“We have a collective responsibility in uniting against corruption. With unity of purpose, we shall attain in our lifetime, the future that we desire for the generation yet unborn.
“On our part at the EFCC, I want to assure you and all Nigerians that we shall carry out our mandate continuously by following the Rule of Law at all times.
“Only recently, I was in Ghana as part of this concerted efforts of beaming our searchlight beyond the borders of Nigeria.
“What we discovered is no doubt staggering and mind boggling. Corrupt politicians have widened the circles of their corrupt activities by investing them in other African countries, so that in the long run, they sell them and deploy ways of repatriating them to Nigeria, even in the buildup to the elections.
“But, by and by, we are also stepping up our game to combat and nip in the bud, new tactics being deployed to fraudulently divert and misappropriate funds meant for the welfare and good of all Nigerians,” he said.
Magu said the commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with the Economic and Organised Crime Office in Ghana, the Ghana Financial Intelligence Centre and the Ghana Police SGMCG “to ensure that we keep track of such illicit inflow and outflow of suspicious funds.”
He reminded the union that the MoU with the United Arab Emirates was effective, “as we have been able to trace several assets illegally kept there. This is in addition to several other strategies that we have deployed in carrying out our mandate of ridding Nigeria of corruption.”