2019: Most ingenious method of vote buying uncovered

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Monday said  some politicians have perfected a new method to buy votes in the forthcoming general elections.

Voters are now paid to release their PVC or voter identification numbers, according to INEC National Commissioner Festus Okoye.

“The intention behind the moves was to either stop the owners of the cards from voting or to attempt using the VIN to hack into the commission’s website and preload card readers ahead of the elections,” said Okoye, represented by OSUN Resident Electoral Commissioner Segun Agbaje at forum with traditional rulers in Osun.

The commissioner added that in some instances, telephone numbers and details of bank accounts of voters have been collected.

Anyone found guilty of buying votes would pay either a fine of N1m or be sentenced to one year in prison, adding that multiple registration, impersonation and being in possession of more than one PVC would attract N1m fine or a 12-month jail term or both.

Measures are now in place to counter the criminal advances of the politicians.

“We have introduced a partial ban on the use of mobile phones and other photographic devices by voters while in the voting cubicles. Also, we are introducing the rolling and flattening of ballot papers by voters before casting them into the ballot boxes,” he said.

He assured the public that the commission would work with the security agents to deal with the violators of electoral laws.

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, present at the occasion, urged royal fathers in the state to ensure that there was peace before and during the elections in their areas.