The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Akwa Ibom State is set to arraign two university lecturers for their alleged involvement in electoral offences during the 2019 elections in the state.
The lecturers who were engaged as Collation and Returning Officers during the 2019 General elections were reported to have manipulated and falsified election results to produce outcomes contrary to the will of the people as expressed through the ballot.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Akwa Ibom State, Mr Mike Igini disclosed this to journalists in the state, on Tuesday.
Mr Igini said, following a formal request by the commission, the authorities of the affected institutions where the lecturers are employed released them to appear before an Investigative Panel set up by INEC Headquarters on the 12th and 26th Of August, 2020.
The panel subsequently established a prima facie documentary evidence of deliberate criminal manipulation of election results against the Collation and Returning Officers.
The REC also disclosed that three staff of the ICT Unit of the commission in the state who were found to have compromised the commission’s standard had been sacked. This, he explained was in line with the commission’s statutory powers to appoint, dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over its staff.
The affected staff had earlier also appeared before the Appointment, Promotion and Disciplinary Committee (APDC) of the commission and we’re found culpable of acts of gross misconduct.
The REC expressed concern over the involvement of lecturers noting that the development is a reflection of the degeneration of the age-long values associated with the academic community.
It is not clear when the lecturers will be arraigned but the REC promised to keep the media informed.