Monday, 16 January 2017

2015 elections: EFCC to probe 200 INEC staff over N24b bribe


About 200 Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials have been queried for allegedly collecting bribe during the 2015 elections.

A panel headed by National Commissioner Baba Shetiima Arfo is investigating the alleged involvement of some INEC employees in the scam. About N23.29billion was allegedly disbursed to INEC officials by the
then admistration of Goodluck Jonathan. The money was according to investigators, released by former oil Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Four oil firms, 14 directors of oil companies, two banks, two!RECs, more than 16 INEC directors and 82 others are also under investigation.
A source, told The Nation that “About 200 INEC employees who have been implicated in one way or the other in the poll bribery scandal have so far been queried.

“The queries were based on the report of the investigation, which was conducted by the!EFCC.

“It is after the panel has concluded its work that a disciplinary!action will be taken against the guilty ones.

“Thereafter, the EFCC will proceed with the trial of those with!cases to answer,” the source said, adding:

“It is too early to conclude that all the 200 employees will face!trial. They are only going through an internal fact-finding processin INEC.

“The panel is actually taking on the implicated employees based on the six geopolitical zones.

“These employees, after answering queries, have been coming to the INEC headquarters to appear before the panel.”

An EFCC source said the agency was ready for the trial of some!of the suspects, but “it needs to allow INEC to conclude its internal process”.

“Some suspects acted in connivance with INEC employees and you cannot isolate the cases at hand,” the source said, pleading not to be named so as not to jeopardise the investigation. INEC Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr Wole Osaze- Uzzi said: “A panel is sitting but I cannot confirm the total number of people involved.

“But all those involved will be dealt with administratively without prejudice to what the law enforcement agencies will do.

 Some INEC officers already grilled by EFCC are the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Abia State, Sylvester Ezeani, who has!refunded N20million credited to him from the poll cash; Khan for!collecting N185, 842,000 out of a N681million bribe deal; Fidelia Omoile (Electoral Officer in Isoko-South Local Government Area!of Delta State)—N112,480,000 ; Uluochi Obi Brown( INEC’s Administrative Secretary in Delta State)—N111,500,000; a former Deputy Director of INEC in Cross River state, Edem Okon Effanga
—N241,127,000 and the Head of Voter Education in INEC in Akwa Ibom, Immaculata Asuquo—N214,127,000.

Also, a retired INEC official, Sani Isa was grilled over N406,206,000 bribe allegedly collected on behalf of the deceased Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), in Kano State, Alhaji Mukaila Abdullahi.
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