The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has resolved to extend its searchlight to political parties to stop them from further corrupting politics with money.
As the 2019 general elections get closer, EFCC is taking steps to stop money sharing at conventions of political parties.
The Chairman of the anti-graft body, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, said EFCC is working with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to stop politicians from sharing money at party conventions or at polling centres.
According to Punch, Magu unveiled his new anti-corruption shift, during “Question Time’’, a life programme of Channels Television.
“We are working with INEC to make sure that we seal every window, and every leakage before the election.
“We will block any avenue where people can move a lot of money either physically in cash or through banks.
“We will prevent people from using money to buy votes or use money during conventions for delegates. We have machinery in place.”
In his reaction to the initiative, the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, said monitoring campaign spending was part of the responsibilities of the EFCC.
“If you look at the EFCC Act, the mandate of the agency is very wide. It includes everything you can think of as regards money laundering. Its duty is to prevent and tackle economic and financial crimes.
“If the law says you cannot spend more than a billion for a presidential election and it appears to the EFCC that you have spent about N3 billion or N4 billion, the commission has the right to ask you where you got the money from.”
According to Punch, some political parties have expressed divergent opinion on the issues.
While the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) questioned the legal authority of EFCC to curb spending by political parties, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) welcomed the move.
PDP explained that it was only INEC that had the power to monitor spending of political parties.
The National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said that there was no way the commission would delegate such power to the anti-graft agency.
“The EFCC doesn’t have such power to monitor how political parties spend their money.’’
APC differed and expressed support for the decision of the EFCC and INEC to eliminate vote buying and money sharing.