Osun 2022: Police Declares War On Vote-Buyers, Unveils Tactics To Apprend Defaulters


Ahead of the Saturday governorship election in Osun State, the police and other security agencies, including the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, have declared war on vote-buyers and mapped out strategies to checkmate their activities.

To curb the malpractices during the poll, the security agencies have deployed detectives, including undercover operatives, to monitor the election and apprehend vote-buyers.

The deployment of police personnel will also be complemented by soldiers, the Civil Defence Corps, and the Amotekun Corps.

Vote-buying has been a blot on the integrity of recent elections in the country as voters are heavily induced by agents of political parties at the polling booths to skew the outcome of the polls in favour of the highest spender.

According to PUNCH report, the security agencies had mapped out elaborate strategies aimed at preventing a repeat of the vote-buying incidents recorded during the Ekiti governorship poll as well as other elections in the recent past.

The EFCC had arrested some suspects, including party agents, for allegedly engaging in vote-buying during the June 18 governorship election in Ekiti.

Some of them were also said to have been caught with bags of money with a book containing details of voters of certain voting areas at a private residence.

The EFCC, which would also monitor the Osun poll on Saturday, would give no room for vote-buyers to operate.

However, the commission’s spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, could not be reached to confirm the number of men that would be deployed for the operation as he did not respond to calls on his phone. He had yet to reply to an SMS on the issue.

Explaining the police strategy against vote-buying, the Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, informed The PUNCH on Tuesday that the force would not take it lightly with anyone caught engaging in electoral malpractices during the Osun poll.

He explained that the police would deploy the Federal Intelligence Bureau, Tactical Corps and the Special Forces to curb the incidents of vote-buying.

According to the Nigeria Police Force website, www.npf.gov.ng, the Federal Intelligence Bureau is the apex of intelligence gathering in the Force. It is the only arm of the Force that provides intelligence on crime and national security. Some of the functions of the bureau include collection, collation, assessment/evaluation and dissemination of criminal intelligence affecting the activities of criminals with particular reference to organised crimes; identifying criminal syndicates carrying out criminal activities using gangster techniques; disseminating criminal intelligence to various police formations continuously and maintaining surveillance on organised gangs, identify members, associates, daily activities and method of operation.

Adejobi said, “The IG said it today (Tuesday) during the stakeholder forum (in Osogbo) that we are not going to take it lightly with anyone that engages in any electoral violence or malpractices including vote-buying, snatching of ballot papers or boxes, attacking electoral or INEC officials or observers, campaigning during the polls or wearing anything that has any particular logo or emblem during the polls.

“All these violate the provisions of the Electoral Act which is criminal. So we are going to go after those who violate the Electoral Act and the laws of the land. So, we are going to be serious about it but don’t forget that vote-buying is not something you do in the public. We can only go after those we see doing it.”

Asked if the police would deploy undercover operatives to monitor the poll and apprehend those engaging in vote-buying, the force spokesman stated that the Force Intelligence Bureau would be on the ground during the election.

He added, “The FIB operatives are there, Tactical Corps have been deployed to Osun, including my department-Public Relations Department. So every unit and sector of the department of police is involved.

“Don’t forget that we have the Electoral Offences Desk officer who happens to be the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of CID in Osun state. He will collate and investigate all electoral offences. They are there to do their job while we appeal to the people of the state to be calm and law-abiding.”

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