Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo on Monday, January 30 stated that a cashless policy in Nigeria can help stem the surge of illicit election financing by making it possible to track funds.
He disclosed this at the Presidential Villa when he received a delegation of the European Union Election Observation Mission led by Mr. Barry Andrews, the Chief Observer, who is also a member of the European Parliament.
He said, “I think that what we should be looking at is to provide more infrastructure. The cashless thing has been really advantageous and helps with tracking. That sort of infrastructure is useful for more financial inclusion and the more financial inclusion you have, the easier it is to track.”
He added that “so much money can be spent without it being tracked,” under the current election financing practices in the country.
“With cash transactions, it is still difficult to seriously control election financing, ” the VP observed.
On the issue of electoral offences, the VP noted that there is the Electoral Offences Commission Bill at the National Assembly and “we hope that it will begin a new regime of dealing with electoral offences which would be helpful.”
He emphasised that “by and large, one shouldn’t expect INEC to be the investigator of electoral offences. I think that law enforcement agencies should be responsible for arresting and prosecuting offenders, State by State.
“Electoral offences are always seen through a political prism; people will always feel that they are being prosecuted because they belong to a certain party.
“What is more important is that we have to find a system where the police could have a special unit for offences during the course of elections. The Federal High Courts could also have a special jurisdiction to deal with offences and not extend beyond the Federal High Courts.