Lawyers condemn vote buying in Ekiti

Lawyers and the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) have condemned the “high level” of vote buying by both the APC and the PDP during the just concluded Ekiti State governorship election.

Contrary to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act, 2010, many voters in Ekiti were videoed moving in numbers to “cash collection points” in lieu of their votes. 

Others received credit alerts on their mobile phones.

The chairperson of TMG, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, in a statement on the election,  said it was largely peaceful; that few isolated cases of violence were effectively dealt with by the police and other security personnel whom it said also conducted themselves in a civil manner.

But the group said the incident of vote buying was a bad omen for the country’s democracy, noting that it had the potential to undermine the progress made in the  electoral process.

On his part, Barrister Gabriel Ojumah, National Convener of United Action for Democracy (UAD), described Nigerian politicians and electorate as “very greedy” in making the deployment of huge funds as basis for winning elections in the country. 

JK Gadzama (SAN) noted that if US former president Obama had contested election in Nigeria, he most probably might have lost because he may not have money as his opponents.  

He therefore suggested a different agency to monitor whether a candidate had exceeded expenditure limit or not.

Ahead of the 2019 general elections, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), submitted that INEC lacked the technical manpower to monitor and track the spending of huge funds by political parties and their candidates. 

On his part, Eze Onyeprere said donations to candidates should be taxed, adding that majority of agencies that should track campaign funds were working at cross purposes.


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