This move comes barely 24 hours after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) inaugurated an inter-agency campaign finance monitoring group to track the source of funding and expenditure of all the candidates and political parties. An official of the commission who asked not to be named because he is not authorised to speak told PREMIUM TIMES that the team will track ill-gotten and stolen wealth ”that is likely to be used to buy votes in the election”. He said some politicians are plotting to use the Lebanese communities in Nigeria to smuggle in money “through our porous borders” to cause confusion and buy votes. He said the commission ”has shut down all other operations” to enable its officials to focus on tracking money. He said the EFCC is exploring all possibilities, ”locking down all avenues that such money can come from.” “As far as the EFCC is concerned, the era of money politics is gone. We want to ensure a free and fair election that is in line with world best practice,” he said. Spokesman Evasive When contacted, the EFCC spokesperson, Tony Orilade, neither confirmed nor denied the issue. He, however, explained that the commission has warned against vote buying and ”measures have been put in place to ensure that those who have such plans fail”. “The measures put in place is not for us to tell you. Politicians have been warned not to induce voters because that is money laundering. “Anyone who violates this law will have the EFCC to contend with. We are not saying they shouldn’t come to vote; we are saying, don’t induce anyone with money to vote for you,” he said. He also said the EFCC is working on dissuading violence to ensure that the elections are free and fair. The presidential and national assembly election is scheduled to hold on February 16 while governorship and state assembly elections will take place on March 2.]]>

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