Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has said that when effectively operated, a cashless policy in Nigeria, will help stop the surge of illicit election financing by making it possible to track funds.
Speaking today, January 30 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja when he received a delegation of the European Union (EU) Election Observation Mission led by Barry Andrews, the Chief Observer, who is also a member of the European Parliament, Osinbajo said: “I think that we should be looking at providing 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.
“So much money can be spent without it being tracked,” under the current election financing practices in the country.”
He acknowledged the serious difficulty in controlling election financing because of cash transactions, adding that there are still infrastructure issues required to be in place to ensure an efficient cashless system in the country.
“With cash transactions, it is still difficult to seriously control election financing.’’
On the issue of electoral offences, Professor Osinbajo pointed out that there is the Electoral Offences Commission Bill at the National Assembly.
“We hope that it will begin a new regime of dealing with electoral offences which would be helpful.
“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.