PDP Lawmaker, Chinyere Igwe has been arrested in Rivers State, Nigeria.
A Nigerian politician, Dr. Chinyere Igwe, a member of the House of Representatives and campaigner of Atiku Abubakar was arrested on suspicion of money laundering after he was caught with $500,000 (£414,000) in cash in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.
The police discovered the stacks of U.S. dollars in Chinyere Igwe’s vehicle.
Mr. Chinyere Igwe, a member of the opposition PDP in the House of Representatives, was also caught with a list of recipients, according to the police.
In past elections, politicians have been accused of vote buying to rig the polls.
Nigeria has recently issued new banknotes, in part to make it more difficult for politicians to amass large amounts of money to bribe voters.
However, there are insufficient quantities of the new currency in circulation, leading to widespread anger and frustration. People have waited for hours outside banks in an attempt to obtain cash, frequently without success, and some have even attacked banks.
About forty percent of Nigerians do not have bank accounts and rely on cash for food purchases and other daily expenses.
Mr. Igwe was arrested in Rivers State, where police issued a Twitter thread urging “all contestants and political parties to comply strictly with provisions of the Electoral Act and other relevant laws.”
Chinyere Igwe, who represents a portion of the city of Port Harcout in the south, has not yet commented on this issue.
The elections are predicted to be the most competitive since the end of military rule in 1999, with three potential winners: Atiku Abubakar of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi of the opposition Labour Party (LP), and Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Chairman of Nigeria’s electoral commission, INEC, confirmed the authorities are prepared for Saturday’s election.
Mahmood Yakubu stated, “According to reports from across the nation, materials are being delivered to local governments as planned.”
Mr. Yakubu added, “We’re exactly where we wanted to be in terms of preparation,” and that security agencies had “assured” INEC that the vote would proceed without incident.
There were concerns that it might not be possible to hold the election in parts of the country due to the Islamist insurgency in the north-east, the kidnapping-for-ransom crisis across the country, and the separatist insurgency in the south-east.
Oyibo Chukwu, a senatorial candidate for the opposition Labour Party, was shot and killed Wednesday in the southeastern Enugu State as he returned from campaigning. Following his murder, the senatorial election in Enugu East has been postponed.
The police blamed the murders on the separatist group Ipob. The group has not commented as of yet.
To prevent foreign nationals from voting on Saturday, the authorities have ordered the closure of all land borders beginning at midnight and continuing for 24 hours.
Thursday, INEC announced that 87,2 million voter cards had been collected in total. More than 93 million people were registered to vote, meaning that approximately six million people were unable to collect their cards and therefore could not vote.
There have been reports of individuals unable to retrieve their cards. In one instance, voter identification cards were reportedly dumped in a bush and discovered by a hunter.
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