By Celestine Okafor (Editor-in-chief) @CelestineOkaf11
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has deployed about 400 officers and operatives across the States of the Federation for the governorship and houses of assembly elections on Saturday.
The Commission’s officers and operatives are already at the various wards and polling units to monitor and prevent vote buying and other corrupt practices during the governorship and houses of assembly elections.
The Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye (SAN), who addressed the election monitoring teams before their deployment, said their participation in the election monitoring was a call to an exceptional national duty.
He said, “Our relevance is neither an after-thought nor happenstance but arose from the recognition of our contribution to national development through the implementation of our enforcement and preventive mandates in combating corruption and associated ills.
“Our importance led to the Commission being made a member of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) which comprises our sister agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Military, Police, Department of State Security and other security agencies with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Office of National Security Adviser as co-chairs. All these agencies will monitor the elections.”
Prof. Owasanoye charged the officers to follow the ICPC guidelines for election monitoring and also comply with the ICCES code of conduct and rules of engagement for security personnel on election duty.
He also counselled the monitoring teams to act with discipline and integrity and directed them to put the body cameras to effective use to capture scenes and incidents of compromise.
Meanwhile, a statement on election day by the ICPC Spokeswoman, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, said the reports from field operations by the Election Monitoring Teams have been sent to the ICPC Situation Room at the Headquarters in Abuja.
The ICPC Election Monitoring Team in Bauchi State monitored the distribution of election materials by INEC Officials at the Central Bank of Nigeria Office in the presence of other law enforcement agents, members of the civil society organisations to the various local governments in the State.
A vote-buyer at the Ba Sarki Polling Unit 002 central capital of Adamawa State fled on sighting the ICPC monitoring team.
Voting was observed to be going on smoothly in the Surulere area of Lagos State and some other locations in the State.
ICPC Election Monitoring Teams in Enugu State observed voter apathy at the polling units as only a few voters were on ground.
The ICPC Election Monitoring Teams are also monitoring the election along with some international observers in some polling units in Lagos, Benue, Gombe, Adamawa, Kano, Nasarawa, Sokoto, Enugu, Katsina, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti States, among others.
It will be recalled that the anti-corruption agency had on February 25 arrested nine vote-buyers in Osun, Ondo, Borno, Akwa Ibom and Sokoto States during the Presidential and National Assembly elections. NNL.