BY GBOGBOWA GBOWA
The Rivers State Police Command and the Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has intercepted the sums of $498,100 and N32,400,000, respectively, from suspected vote buyers ahead of the presidential and federal legislative elections holding tomorrow, Saturday, February 25, 2023.
While the suspected laundered $498,100 was reportedly found with a federal lawmaker, Dr. Chinyere Igwe, the EFCC said also intercepted N32.4 million new notes from a yet to be disclosed person in Lagos; with both the police and the commission saying the arrested traffic funds were meant for vote buying.
Hon. Igwe was reportedly nabbed with the foreign currency along Aba Road in the state capital yesterday, Thursday, February 23, 2023.
Reports monitored on Channels Television inform that the lawmaker who represents Port Harcourt Federal Constituency 2 in the House of Representatives was picked up by men of the Command on stop and search duty at about 2:45 pm on Thursday. Also found in his possession was a list for the distribution of the money.
The Rivers State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Grace Iringe-Koko in a statement issued said the suspect was apprehended close to the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), adding that the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of elections, Abutu Yaro, has ordered the immediate interrogation and arraignment of the suspect in court.
The statement reads: “Police Officers from Rivers State Command deployed to INEC Headquarters Aba Road today 24/2/2023 at about 0245hrs, while on stop and search, arrested one Hon Chinyere Igwe, member House of Representatives representing Port Harcourt II Federal Constituency with a cash sum of 498,100 USD inside a bag in his car,” the statement read.
“Also recovered was a list for distribution of the money. The AIG Election, AIG Abutu Yaro fdc , has ordered swift interrogation and arraignment in court.
“The Command urges all contestants and political parties to comply strictly with provisions of the Electoral Act and other relevant laws.”
On the other hand, the EFCC In a post on its Twitter handle Friday, said the Lagos suspect was immediately taken into custody for questioning.
“The massive operation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to deter vote trading and other financial malfeasance ahead of tomorrow’s presidential and national assembly elections may have begun paying dividends with the interception in Lagos of the sum of N32,400,000 allegedly suspected to be used for vote buying in Lagos,” the statement read.
“The recovery was made by operatives of the Lagos Zonal Command of the Commission. The suspect involved has been taken into custody for further questioning.”