March 28, 2023

Chinyere Igwe was discovered touring with the cash and a distribution checklist, police say a day earlier than Nigerian elections.

Police in Nigeria have arrested a member of parliament who was allegedly carrying nearly $500,000 in money in a battleground state a day earlier than the nation’s presidential and parliamentary elections, elevating issues concerning the affect of cash within the vote.

Chinyere Igwe, a member of Nigeria’s Home of Representatives, was on Friday discovered touring with the cash inside a bag in his automobile at roughly 2am (01:00 GMT) together with a distribution checklist, Rivers state police spokeswoman Grace Iringe-Koko mentioned.

It’s unlawful to maneuver undeclared money of greater than $10,000 in Nigeria. Authorities had been questioning the legislator, Iringe-Koko mentioned.

Nigeria’s electoral fee, in the meantime, has suspended the senatorial election in southeastern Enugu, the place the opposition Labor Get together candidate was killed, the fee’s chairman Mahmood Yakubu mentioned.

An opposition social gathering candidate and the driving force of a marketing campaign minibus belonging to a different social gathering had been killed in a sequence of coordinated assaults in Enugu State on Thursday, police mentioned.

Individually, authorities in Kano State introduced the arrests of greater than 60 “suspected thugs with harmful weapons” after supporters of political events clashed on Thursday. Native media reported one individual was burnt to loss of life within the clashes.

Nigerian voters will head to the polls on Saturday to pick out a brand new president following the second and ultimate time period of incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari. They may even elect a brand new nationwide legislature.

Three front-runners have emerged from a area of 18 presidential candidates, together with the governing social gathering’s Bola Tinubu and the principle opposition social gathering’s Atiku Abubakar. Most polls have favored Peter Obi, a third-party hopeful.

Scarcity of forex

The election comes amid a forex scarcity in Africa’s most populous nation, elevating issues about whether or not it can have an effect on voter turnout. Authorities introduced the change to a brand new word of official forex the naira in November, however the change has led to shortfalls of financial institution notes nationwide.

On the similar time, there have been doubts concerning the means of Nigerian authorities to curb the affect of cash within the nation’s elections.

Observer teams have documented political events making funds starting from 500 naira ($1.08) to 10,000 naira ($10.8) to folks keen to vote for his or her candidates, a tactic used amid excessive unemployment and poverty charges within the nation.

“Vote shopping for stays a significant menace to our democracy,” Mahmood Yakubu, the pinnacle of Nigeria’s election fee, informed reporters Thursday.

The usage of cellphones is prohibited at Nigeria’s voting stations, Yakubu mentioned. Authorities launched the ban to counter voters photographing ballots as proof in alternate for money from political events.

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