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2023: INEC To Monitor Politician’s Bank Accounts Transactions

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As Nigerians await the release of the 2023 general election timetable, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has vowed to beam its searchlight on politicians and political parties in a bid to track the sources of funds for their campaigns.
To this end, the commission has said it will set up teams to monitor election spending ahead of the elections.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who stated this  at a policy round-table conference on political campaign finance organised by The Electoral Forum in Abuja yesterday, also said the electoral umpire would also monitor the movement of money on election days to help tackle vote-buying at polling units.
Represented by Prof. Ajayi Kunle, who is INEC’s National Commissioner in-charge of party monitoring committee, Mahmood said through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, commercial banks would be mandated to report all suspicious transactions ahead of the election while threatening to prosecute any bank that failed to cooperate.

He said, “As long as we have not notified anybody that the race to the 2023 general election has started, we are not unaware of what anybody is doing. We follow the law strictly.
“We have not officially declared notice for the 2023 general elections, but when we so declare, we will put our monitoring committees to motion like the central banks,  DSS,EFCC, ICPC, the (commercial) banks and other law enforcement agencies. We have that plan already.

“Every candidate must be made to declare his bank asset. That is where they draw out their money so we will make them to present their statement of account right from the onset. We will make it mandatory for them to turn in their bank statement so that if they say they are doing billboard and the account remains the same, then there is a problem.”
On the issue of vote buying, the INEC Chairman said, “We are going to establish finance monitoring teams and they will be among the electorate but they (politicians and political parties) won’t know. We are going to do it in a way that the influence of money will be reduced, because we want to make the electoral field a level playing ground for both rich and poor candidates and electorates. Everybody will be on  equal  level so that you won’t influence the voting pattern.”

 

According to him, besides the Electoral Act, the constitution empowers INEC to also make any other regulations that will assist its efficiency. The law, the Electoral Act empowers INEC to make other regulations.
Earlier, the National Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, Engr. Yabagi Sani, called for a strict enforcement of the regulations on election funding so as to prevent the monetisation of the electoral process and improve the level of trust between electorates and political party candidates.
This is even as the immediate past Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, identified the lack of accountability and transparency in political campaign financing as key factors responsible for some challenges facing Nigeria’s electoral system.

 

According to Jega, “If we insist on accountability, then you can begin to somehow sanitise the way political parties raise funds. I think what has happened is that we paid too much attention on the issue of electronic transmission of results, and somehow they quickly passed the sections about raising the threshold. The civil societies did not pay much attention in their advocacy against this particular issue.
“Nevertheless, I wouldn’t advise or recommend that we delay the passage of the bill on account of this particular issue. What we should be exploring are ways and means of ensuring that there is accountability about how these funds are raised and the spending ceiling is met as well as how the expenditure is done.”
On his part, the IPAC Chairman said the need to step up enforcement of the regulation on election funding was born out of the imperatives of sanity and integrity in elections, saying that a failure to do so could debase the voting process to the level of what he described as “a commodity for the highest bidder.”
Sani, who was represented by IPAC’s National Treasurer, Barrister Obidike Okolo, noted that the triple menace of trans-national drug trafficking, money-laundering and terrorism, had led to issues of corruption as well as the destabilisation of democratic philosophy.
He said while the controversial Electoral Amendment Bill (2020), if eventually assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, will usher in the upgrading of what a presidential candidate can spend at elections from N1 Billion to N5 Billion, representing a 400% increment amongst others, there was a need for its enforcement to ensure compliance with the provisions of the law on political campaign finance.

This, he noted, would enable the country to avoid a situation where the country’s democracy is undermined in the long-term.
Sani said, “After the restoration of democracy, the Nigerian parliament enacted the first statute regulating election funding in 2005 and followed with an amendment to the Act in 2018.
“Yet, another amendment with more comprehensive prohibitions came about in the 2020 Electoral Amendment Bill, still in the works as a result of disputes between the Legislative and Executive Arms over certain clauses and provisions.

 

SOURCE: VANGUARD NEWS NIGERIA

 


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Don’t accept wike’s deceptive Financial bribe- IPOB warns IMO communities

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IPOB

The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB has warned the people of Ohaji Local Government Area of Imo State against ceding their land to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.

IPOB cautioned the people of Ohaji against accepting Wike’s alleged satanic and deceptive financial inducement.

Emma Powerful, the spokesman of IPOB, issued the warning in reaction to an alleged illegal and undocumented ceding of communities in Ohaji Local Government Area to Wike.

Powerful warned that ceding their communities to Wike would affect their children’s future; hence such a deceptive move should be rejected.

He urged the communities to treat whoever is persuading them to change their state of origin as a criminal.

Powerful noted that accepting to change their state of origin for the sake of N150,000 monthly is evil.

A statement by Powerful reads partly: “Following an illegal undocumented treaty to cede communities of Ohaji Egbema LGA from Imo State to Rivers State via a crooked financial inducement by current Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.

“We the global family and movement of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) under the command and leadership of our great leader Mazi Nnamdi KANU wish to warn that such project is called to a halt to avert inevitable consequences.

“We suggest to the communities that fall into this deceptive venture masterminded by Nyesom Wike to retrace their steps, considering that this singular act could attract futuristic destructive effects.

“IPOB was intimated with the information regarding Governor Wike’s plan, which includes conditional future promises and haven gone through these moves realized that Wike will abandon them in future because governor Wike cannot be in charge of Rivers State beyond his tenor as a current Governor.

“It is a known fact that the Imo State government failed in their obligations as it concerns the predicaments they are facing in that area, but they must forget Wike with his satanic offer. Wike’s deceptive offer would harm them and their children in the future as such may not be sustainable by successive governments. Moreover, the Biafra restoration approaches hastily.

“IPOB is advising them to retrace their steps and watch what God Almighty has in stock for them; changing God Almighty’s plans for children will harm the communities in the future, for God to have placed you where you are today does not mean that he has abandoned you.

“The communities or anybody persuading them to change their State of origin identity and be acquired like slaves with cash value of N150 (One Hundred and Fifty Naira Only) is evil and must be treated as criminal because we don’t see where old men and women, youths and educated people would allow such an undocumented territorial treaty due to hunger and abandonment.”


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2023 elections: Pastor David Ibiyeomie tells Nigerians who to vote

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Pastor David

Pastor David Ibiyeomieof Salvation Ministries has addressed Nigerians on those to vote ahead of the 2023 general elections

Ibiyeomie urged Nigerians to vote for politicians with a vision for the country and not a politician.

He gave the remark while addressing his members at the church’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Pastor David Ibiyeomie noted that anyone who collects money to vote in the forthcoming election sold their conscience, stressing that electorates should vote for a statesman.

According to Ibiyeomie: “If you take money to vote, then you have sold your conscience. When we are shouting, you people will say I don’t shout. I am shouting now. Don’t collect bribes to vote, vote for your conscience.

“Don’t vote party again in Nigeria; vote for someone who has a vision. Nigeria is in the woods; she needs someone who has a vision.

“No politician should be voted; vote for a statesman instead. A statesman thinks of the next generation, a politician thinks only of the 2023 general elections.”


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Interpol arrests three Nigerians for international scam

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Interpol

The International Police (INTERPOL) has arrested three Nigerians over alleged global scam.

The trio were arrested in a sting operation conducted simultaneously in a Lagos suburb, Ajegunle and in Benin City, 300 km to the East of the commercial capital.

One of the scammers, Hendrix Omorume has been charged and convicted and now faces a 12-month prison sentence.

The three men, aged between 31 and 38, were each arrested in possession of fake documents, including fraudulent invoices and forged official letters.

The investigation was conducted in conjunction with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The operation is part of a global operation codenamed “Killer Bee” involving INTERPOL National Central Bureaus (NCBs) and law enforcement in 11 countries across Southeast Asia.

According to INTERPOL’s Director of Cybercrime, Craig Jones, the organisation had “to alert Nigeria to a serious security threat where millions could have been lost without swift police action.”

The laptops and mobile phones seized by EFCC during the arrests, were examined by the INTERPOL to help confirm the systematic use of “Agent Tesla” malware to access business computers and divert monetary transactions to their own accounts.


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