By Biola Adebayo
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission has launched a nationwide campaign against vote-buying in the country ahead of the 2019 elections.
The commission stated that Section 6(a) of the ICPC Act 2000 empowered it to prosecute vote-buyers which it described as another form of corruption.
Addressing participants at a campaign against vote-buying organized in collaboration with Youth Alive Foundation and Ummah Support Initiative, the acting ICPC Chairman, Dr. Musa Abubakar, explained that the programme would also hold in Akwa-Ibom, Kano, Lagos and Rivers States.
He explained that the anti-graft agency had not taken action against the electoral malpractice because it was sensitizing the people, noting that the commission would monitor the forthcoming elections for malpractices.
Abubakar was represented by Assistant ICPC Commissioner, Mrs. Azuka Ogugua.
He said, “Vote-buying and selling is corruption; It can take various forms such as collecting payment from candidates before or after voting for them. Such payments are usually made through agents either directly or through phone transfer. This is outright bribery and it is punishable under the ICPC Act 2000.”
The ICPC boss lauded the Youth Alive Foundation and Ummah Support Initiative for their contribution to the anti-graft war.
USI Executive Director, Danjuma Abdullahi, said the campaign was meant to sensitize youths in the Federal Capital Territory on the implications of selling their votes, adding that civil society organizations, as well as community leaders, were being involved in the campaign against vote-buying and selling.