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Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has said that when Nigeria operates an effective cashless policy, illicit election financing can be curbed.
Osinbajo stated this when he received a delegation of the EU election observation mission led by Barry Andrews, on Monday.
According to a statement issued by his media aide, Laolu Akande, the VP said that a functional cashless policy will facilitate seamless tracking of funds and be helpful for financial inclusion.
He said, “I think that what we should be looking at is to provide more infrastructures.
“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.
“So much money can be spent without it being tracked under the current election financing practices in the country.’’
The vice-president stated that it was difficult to combat election financing due to cash transactions.
He said there are still infrastructural issues required to be in place to ensure an efficient cashless system in the country.
He added, “With cash transactions, it is still difficult to seriously control election financing,” he added.
Speaking on electoral crime, Osinbajo said the electoral offences commission bill is already at the national assembly.
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Osinbajo expressed hope that it would begin a new regime of dealing with electoral offences which would be helpful.
The VP said, “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.”