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We will arrest, prosecute vote buyers in Osun election - INEC

We will arrest, prosecute vote buyers in Osun election - INEC

- INEC has warned voters in Osun to desist from selling their votes

- The commission vowed to prosecute anyone caught selling or buying votes

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned that it will arrest and prosecute anyone found buying or selling votes during the September 22nd governorship election in Osun state.

Stephen Ojewande, the commission’s deputy director of voters' education and publicity, who spoke with The Nation, said the Electoral Act frowns at voters inducement in any way, as Section 12 of the document stipulates a maximum fine of N500,000 or 12-month jail term or both for anyone convicted of inducement.

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He said the popularity which the crime has gained in recent times is a source of worry for the commission.

According to him, any INEC staff found culpable of such crimes will also be prosecuted. He said the commission will continue to discourage voters not to sell their votes.

Ojewande said: “Any act of lawlessness is anti-societal development. We will ensure the arrest of anyone caught with voter inducement this time, because it is against the law. They will be prosecuted. In fact, INEC is looking for scape goats in this area."

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Recall that there were reports of vote buying during the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti.

An anti-corruption group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, had demanded that the commission should immediately arrest and prosecute Ekiti vote buyers or be ready to face litigation

In response, the commission said that it has powers to prosecute allegations of vote buying by both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the governorship election in Ekiti state but lacks the powers to arrest and investigate suspects.

Meanwhile, earlier reported that the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on Wednesday, August 29, inaugurated the party’s 63-member National Campaign Council for the September 22 Osun state governorship election.

The campaign council is chaired by the Kano state governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

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