By Peter Duru, Makurdi
Zonal Head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in Makurdi, Mr. Johnson Babalola has cautioned banks and bureau de change operators against aiding and abetting vote buying during the 2019 polls in the state.
Babalola vowed that the commission would not hesitate to clamp down on banks and financial institutions, include bureau de change operators in the state caught engaging in untoward acts to undermine the electoral process.
The Zonal Head who sounded the warning yesterday when he hosted heads of banks and the leadership of bureau de change operators in the state in his Makurdi office, urged them to report to his office any withdrawals and deposits that flouts the stipulated laws.
Mr. Babalola sounded that, “we have credible intelligence reports indicating that huge sums of monies in local and hard currencies are being moved around the country by politicians ahead of the polls to influence the outcome of the election.
“We advise you in your own interest to report to my office any lodgments and withdrawals that contravenes the provisions of law.
“We are in electioneering period and there are rules that we all must follow if we want the system to succeed. The Money Laundry Act is still operational and we will not allow anyone compromise the system.
“We in the commission are determined to make sure that this our democracy succeeds. We want to see to the fact that, within the limits of what the law permits, we are able to bring sanity into the system by stopping every form of vote buying and election merchandising.
“As bankers you know what the law entails in terms of withdrawals, corporate withdrawals must not exceed N10million while individual withdrawals must not exceed N5million.
“We expect that you alert us when this is contravened this period of electioneering in your own interest.
“As for the beraeu de change operators, we urge you to quickly alert us whenever an individual moves large volumes of foreign exchange to you for exchange. If this directive is not adhere to we will have no option but to clampdown on you.”
Mr. Babalola disclosed that his office had detailed its personnel across the state to monitor the activities of financial institutions and individuals who would willfully engage in election merchandising or flout the provisions of the law.
Responding, heads of banks and leaders of bureau de change present at the meeting promised to cooperate with the commission to ensure that its directives were fully enforced during the electioneering period.