N23bn Bribe: 200 INEC Officials Face Panel As EFCC Probes Commission In 20 States

BEVERLY HILLS, October 04, (THEWILL) – The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, says the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is currently probing its officials in 20 states for allegedly receiving bribe during the 2015 elections, adding that no fewer than 200 officials have so far been queried.

About N23.29bn was purportedly doled out to INEC officials in a desperate bid to compromise results of the 2015 polls. The cash, according to investigators, came from former Petroleum Resources minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke. A panel headed by National Commissioner, Baba Shetiima Arfo is investigating the alleged involvement of some staffers of INEC in the scam.

Speaking during a quarterly consultative meeting with journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said he would continue to cooperate with the EFCC.

He stated that the last report given to him by the EFCC involved 16 states, adding that the anti-graft agency was already probing INEC officials in 20 other states

According to Yakubu, “I want to say that this is the first time in the history of our elections that in one fell swoop, 205 officials were disciplined based on the interim report we received from the EFCC covering 16 states.

“Under the terms and conditions of service what we can do is to interdict them which means placing them on half salary and suspending them from work until their innocence or guilt is established. The last report covered 16 states and only last week I heard they had started prosecuting them.

“However, after receiving the report, we had a discussion with the EFCC and told them that for the outstanding 20 states, they should not submit any interim report to INEC but just prosecute them.

“Once they are taken to court, we activate the provisions of the terms and conditions of service. Whatever we need to do we will do even if it means getting rid of everybody in the commission and recruiting afresh for the purpose of the 2019 elections. We are committed to doing so.”

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