‘We Are Combating Illicit Vote Buying’, INEC Chairman Assures

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has promised to tackle the practice of vote-buying at polling units and vowed that violators of laws on campaign finances would be dealt with.

The commission said it would release today a summary of the legal provisions governing the conduct of political rallies, processions and campaigns, as well as publish a summary of the guidelines on finances and election expenses of parties and candidates.

Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this at a stakeholders’ forum organised by the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room in Abuja.

He mentioned that the commission was concluding safeguards for a transparent process in the collection of Permanent Voter’s Cards.

Yakubu said, “Areas of violation include party and candidate expenditures beyond what is provided by law and the diabolical practice of vote-buying at polling units on the election day.

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“Once again, on Thursday, November 24, 2022, the commission will publish a summary of the guidelines on finances and election expenses for parties and candidates.

“Beyond that, we are mobilising every national institution with the responsibility for tracking and combating the illicit flow of funds, as well as the broadcast and print media regulatory agencies, to confront the problem head-on.”

He stated, “On the collection of permanent voter cards for fresh registrations in 2022 as well as applicants for transfer to other polling units and the replacement of damaged or lost cards, we wish to assure Nigerians that the commission will soon release the timelines and procedures for the collection of PVCs.

“With the ongoing display of the register for claims and objections, the commission consider it appropriate to conclude the process so that the cards will not be in the hands of ineligible registrants who may attempt to use them during the election.

“We understand the anxiety of Nigerians to collect their PVCs and appeal for little patience as we speedily conclude the necessary safeguards for a transparent process.”