Politicians from different parties engaged in vote-buying in Osun state on despite warnings from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The commission had vowed to curb the trend, threatening to prosecute those involved.
As early as possible, voters trooped to polling units to cast their votes, while party agents, observers and security agencies were on ground to monitor the process.
Party agents devised a method of inducing voters with money, though some did it openly, while others wrote down names of those who voted for their candidates in order to be given money after the election.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state have been trading blames.
At ward one, polling unit four in Ede north, a party agent identified as Baba Bidemi was seen writing down the names of people who voted for his party to be offered money.
At the Ede south ward one, polling unit one in Obada, a PDP agent reportedly distributing money to voters was arrested.
Learnt that he was later released by the security agents on duty. Our reporter, however, witnessed voters writing down their names in a list in order to be given money at an undisclosed location.
One of the voters who identified himself as Mansur said some party agents made voters swear an oath with the Quran that they cast their votes for their party before being given money. He added that some had been paid on Friday, a day to the election.
At unit 1, Asunmk ward in Talafia area of Ede, an APC agent claimed to have some money with him to be distributed to those who voted for the party.
At Iwo local government area of the state, two suspected vote buyers were arrested by security operatives on duty and N604,000 was reportedly recovered from them.
At Iragbiji, a town in Osun Eest, voters were offered money by party agents at locations around the polling units.
Earlier Isiaka Oyetola, candidate of the APC in the election, had denied reports that his party was involved in vote-buying.
“I don’t know anything about buying of votes; I haven’t seen anybody here buying votes,” Oyetola had said in response to a question
At a press briefing in Osogbo, the state capital, on Friday Olusegun Agbaje, the resident electoral commissioner, said INEC has put in place strategies to curb vote-buying in the governorship election.
“All of us have been talking and complaining about vote-buying and the commission has put a strategy in place. We have a duty to protect the integrity of our elections,” he had said.
Agbaje added that if vote-buying is not erased in Osun election, the country would be in serious trouble in 2019.