ICPC operatives arrest suspected vote buyers in Sokoto, Katsina

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it arrested four vote buyers in Sokoto and Katsina States during the Governorship and House of Assembly elections on Saturday.

The anti-graft agency also disclosed that some of its operatives deployed on election duty were also harassed and attacked in the two states.

This was disclosed in a statement issued by the ICPC spokesperson, Azuka Ogugwa, on Saturday.

The Commission said its monitoring team in Sokoto arrested the three male vote buyers, namely, Mahe Bello, Musa Adamu and Mustapha Mohammed, all of Kauran Miyo Bodinga.

“In its election monitoring operations across the States of the Federation, officers of the anti-corruption agency encountered some vote buyers at Kauran Miyo Primary School in Bodingo Town of Bodinga Local Government Area of Sokoto State.

According to the Commission, Mr Bello was caught in possession of N38,000 cash, along with two PVCs, one ATM card and an Infinix phone.

It added that Mr Adamu had CFA 228,000 in his possession, which was being offered to voters, while the third suspect, Mustapha Mohammed, was arrested in possession of PVCs.

The Commission said its monitoring team came under attack while carrying out the arrest of the three vote buyers. 

It said an officer of the Commission, Rabiu Ibrahim, suffered a head injury from being hit by stones and has been admitted to a hospital. The victim is reported to be in stable condition. 

The vote buyers were kept in the custody of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) before being conveyed to ICPC’s detention facility in Sokoto.

A similar case was reported of thugs attacking operatives of the EFCC in Kaduna, after it arrested a suspect for alleged vote buying in the state.

In a related development, the ICPC said its monitoring team in Katsina arrested one Tanimu Tabale for vote buying at Tashar Yamma polling unit in the Zango Local Government Area of the State.

Mr Tabale, a 35-year-old man, claimed he was an observer in Makama polling unit but was arrested at Tashar Yamma polling unit with N20,000 in different denominations attempting to buy the votes of the electorate.

Also, one of the ICPC monitoring teams in Delta rescued a female voter, Oge Nwaomose, from mob action by agents of some political parties who accused her of vote buying.

Ms Nwaomose was seen parading herself at Unit 13 Ward 6, shortly after casting her vote at Unit 8 Ward 13, Ogbu-Utu Primary School, Issele-Uku, Aniocha North Local Government Area, Delta. 

ICPC operatives at polling unit 13 Ward 6 in Issele-Uku, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta, prevented the lady from further attacks, and whisked her away for interrogation.

During a search conducted on her, N6,000 in 500 naira denominations was found on her. She was granted bail after her statement was obtained.

The Commission had on February 25 arrested nine vote buyers in Osun, Ondo, Borno, Akwa Ibom and Sokoto States during the Presidential and National Assembly elections.