Naira redesign will curb vote-buying — Bawa

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, AbdulRasheed Bawa, has lauded the Federal Government over the redesigning of naira notes by the Central Bank of Nigeria, stating that it would help mitigate against vote buying in the coming elections.
According to him, the new policy would aid the commission to be able to monitor people holding currencies legitimately and illegitimately.
Bawa on Thursday after defending the commission’s 2023 budget before the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption to journalists said that the EFCC would continue to partner with the Independent National Electoral Commission to curb vote buying, especially during the 2023 general elections.
He said, “We welcome the policy, it is a good thing that the country is redesigning its currency, because how can you have an effective monetary policy when you don’t have control over 85 percent of your currencies?

“Out there, people are holding it, people are using it to speculate on foreign currencies, and so coming out with this policy, the government is trying to contend with it. I am sure that we will be able to monitor those people that are holding back this money whether legitimately or illegitimately and the right cause of the law will take its course.”

“We will continue to do what we have to do, we are trying to ensure that illegitimate funds are not finding their way into our electoral processes, he added.
Bawa said that the commission would partner with INEC to arrest and prosecute persons involved in vote buying.
The commission’s chairman said that cases of those arrested for vote buying in previous elections were ongoing in court.

Bawa also thanked the National Assembly for supporting the commission via landmark legislation designed to further assist it in delivering on its mandate.

“I want to use this opportunity to thank the National Assembly for their support as EFCC chairman, particularly the anti-corruption committee. They have been with us 100 per cent. You remember recently they have worked with us to pass landmark acts and legislations and the president had assented to it.

“So, we are working with them towards ensuring that this country is free of economic and financial crimes,” he said.

In the fight against cybercrime, Bawa urged youths to support the commission to rid the nation of cybercrime and other criminal activities associated with cyberspace.

According to him, their activities are tarnishing the image of the country in the global arena.

Bawa revealed that as of October 22, the commission succeeded in securing 2,847 convictions of cybercrime perpetrators.

Bawa added, “These are Nigerian youths, they should join me in fighting the scourge of cybercrime.

“It is part of our mandate to fight cybercrime, advance fee fraud and we are working in conformity with the law. I am pleading with them not to stop doing such things at this time of transition of the country elections, in terms of government efforts to see that the economy is back on track.”

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