THE Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN) is putting together a one-day event to brainstorm and come up with ideas on how to tackle the menace of vote buying during elections in Nigeria.
ACAN is the training and research arm of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The event which holds on Tuesday, April 16, at the ACAN premises in Keffi, Nasarawa State, is expected to be attended by about 60 persons drawn from the academia, faith-based and Civil Society Organisations, development partners, organised labour; officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), other anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies, as well as selected lawmakers and members of various political parties.
At a press briefing on Monday, Director of ACAN, Sola Akinrinade, a professor, said the centre designs its policies and programmes with the aim of bringing topical anti-corruption issues to the fore of national discourse. He explained that discussing vote buying and its potential dangers would help the relevant authorities in formulating or modifying its policies and legislations on the subject matter.
“It is intended that the policy dialogue will focus on matters that require urgent attention because they lack either effective policy guidance or suitable legislative frameworks. The dialogues will create an avenue to discuss key issues, share points of view and try to find common ground, agreement or consensus on the policy matter in focus,” Akinrinade said.
He further explained that in keeping with the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) which was officially adopted in July 2017, the ACAN will periodically organise dialogues and symposiums aimed at boosting anti-corruption efforts across the country.
“The dialogues will seek to contribute towards the attainment of the strategic objective of promoting an improved legal policy and regulatory environment for the fight against corruption,” the ACAN boss said.
“The national dialogue on eradicating electoral corruption with a focus on vote buying is very apt at this critical point because the electoral process is an important pillar of democracy. Therefore, corrupt practices in the process raise serious concerns.
“It is, therefore, intended that this Dialogue shall precipitate a policy framework that will guide the electorate, the election management body, political parties and anti-corruption agencies on reporting and dealing with vote buying in the electoral process.”
Tuesday’s dialogue will commence with a lead paper to be presented by Idayat Hassan of the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), one of the CSOs that provided real-time analysis of the just concluded general elections.
Government officials expected at the dialogue include the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu; and the Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu.
Others include the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption (PACAC), Itse Sagay; another PACAC member, Etannibi Alemika; Head, Democracy and Governance, ECOWAS, Emmanuel Okorodudu, and the Director of Political Affairs, ECOWAS, Aderemi Ajibewa. The Director, Africa Office of the MacArthur Foundation, Kole Shettima, is also expected at the dialogue
The ICPC, Bolaji Owasanoye will be the Chief host of the event, while all the eight members of the ICPC board are also expected to attend.