INEC Bars Staff Under Investigation from Playing Roles in Further Elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission has said its staff under investigation will be barred from taking part in the gubernatorial elections in Edo and Ondo States.
Governorship elections are to hold in Edo and Ondo on September 10 and November 26 respectively.
The Commission said they will not play any role in further elections until investigations by the EFCC are over.
The Street Journal had reported last week that the over 100 staff of the Commission being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission were still drawing salaries from INEC despite they were alleged to have received various bribes from the former Petroleum Minister, Mrs Diezani Alison Maduekwe, to influence the outcome of the 2015 general election.
The Commission said to lend credibility to the two governorship elections, the affected officers were not cleared, and would not be given any further assignment for now.
INEC’s Deputy Director, Publicity and Voter Education, Nick Dazang, said that they would not be deployed for the two elections.
He said, “It is the rule that anyone undergoing investigations for any allegations will not be deployed for any electoral duty.
“We will obey this simple logic. We won’t deploy any of those being investigated for the forthcoming Edo and Ondo governorship elections.
“All those who have questions to answer either from the EFCC or any other security agencies, regarding the roles they played in the last general elections, are to be excused from these elections.
“We need to give the elections credibility. If we don’t do that, Nigerians will query us. Until these officers are cleared, they won’t be deployed for any electoral duty.”
Among those indicted by the EFCC include, Mrs. Gesila Khan, who was the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Rivers State in the 2015 election but has since been redeployed to Cross River.
She was alleged to have collected N185.8m from the bribe money. A sum of N4m was recently found in another bank account belonging to her.
One Fidelia Omoile, who was the INEC electoral officer in the Isoko-South Local Government Area of Delta State, allegedly got N112.4m.
Apart from tracing over N112m to her, the Commission also recovered some sensitive electoral materials during a search on her apartments in Edo and Delta States.
The Commission also arrested one Oluchi Brown, who was the INEC administrative Secretary in Delta State. She allegedly received over N111m.
Further investigations by detectives revealed that Brown had about $75,857 in an account in the United States.
The anti-graft agency also arrested one Edem Effanga, who is a retired INEC official.
He was arrested alongside his alleged accomplice, Immaculata Asuquo, who is the Head, Voter Education, INEC, Akwa Ibom State.
He was alleged to have received over N241.1m, which he allegedly shared among INEC ad hoc workers during the last election.

Author: News Editor

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