By Chika Onyesi
The economic and financial crimes commission has warned banks against conniving with politicians to compromise the upcoming elections.
He gave the warning at a meeting with the association of chief conduct and compliance officers of banks in Nigeria.
The Executive Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu noted that the anti-graft agency has observed various activities of financial institutions and the deliberate connivance and collusion of most Banks in laundering illicit funds for criminals as well as politicians.
‘‘We are not ignorant of the prevailing electioneering activities going on in the Country today and the efforts being made by many politicians who had stolen our commonwealth to repatriate to Nigeria these stolen funds for the purpose of influencing the elections through vote buying and compromise of election officers to do their bidding, as well as engage in various other illicit activities calculated to undermined the integrity of the elections’’
He said the impact of allowing political elements compromise the elections will be grievous, and devastating.
‘‘We are all under a civic duty to comply with our various responsibilities and ensure that we do the needful to obey the laws and regulations governing the elections; let me remind you that the provisions of the Nigerian Electoral Act, 2010, Article 130, provides that: “ A person who-
(a) ‘‘Corruptly by himself or by any other person at any time after the date of an election has been announced, directly or indirectly gives or provides or pays money to or for any person for the purpose of corruptly influencing that person or any other person to vote or refrain from voting at such election, or on account of such person or any other person having voted or refrained from voting at such election; or
(b) Being a voter, corruptly or takes money or any other inducement during any of the period stated in paragraphs (a) of this Section, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N 100,000.00 or 12 months imprisonment or both”
The EFCC boss said while vote buying is subject to punishment, the attainment of compliance to this legal obligation is the responsibility of all.
He said the activities of the criminals can be checkmated by increase transaction monitoring by the Bank officers and reporting suspicious transactions to the relevant agencies timely.