The anti-graft agency disclosed that it has commenced monitoring of spendings by political parties and politicians.
• Work with banks to track transactions
Iheanacho Nwosu, Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday said it is working with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigeria Police Force to track politicians and individuals involved in vote-buying during elections.
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Beyond that, the anti-graft agency disclosed that it has commenced monitoring of spendings by political parties and politicians.
In doing that, EFCC said banks have been put on notice regarding transactions by politicians.
Acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, stated this at an interactive session with newsmen in Abuja, yesterday.
“We are working with INEC to stop vote-buying, we are seriously pursuing this.”
The EFCC boss who said the commission will continue to operate within the ambit of the law assured that they “will work with banks to monitor transactions by politicians. We will monitor unusual cash withdrawals . We are going to work with other relevant agencies like the police on this.”
Magu recalled that “before now, it was inconceivable for law enforcement agencies to investigate sources of election funding of political parties and their candidates.
“This has led to gross financial abuse and pervasion of the electoral process and consequently, enthroned bad leadership which, in turn, led to corruption and bad governance.”
He stressed that “with our modest achievement in this area , I can assure you that our politicians will be more circumspect as we go into the next general election. And, our people have all to gain in this process of disinfecting the electoral process by monitoring the financing of elections because it will help to improve good governance when good candidates are elected – not money bags”.
Asked why the commission is not investigating some high-profile corruption cases, the EFCC boss stated that contrary to claims and insinuation in some circles, the Commission is perfecting arrangements for the arraignment of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal and is on the trail of ‘wanted’ former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina.
He said the EFCC under him “will never shield anyone from investigation and prosecution in accordance with the law.”
On corruption allegations at the Nigeria Football Federation, Magu said the Commission will give its report on the matter in two weeks time.
Giving a scorecard of the Commission’s performance, Magu disclosed that between January and August, the agency secured 158 convictions and recovered N106,516,222,383.68, $1,635,925.81, £629,193.65 and €25,575.00.
He announced that the Commision recovered N35 billion and N4 billion owed the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).