Friday, 29 April 2016

EFCC declares former INEC chairman wanted

A former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) has been found wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in connection with a N23.29billion poll bribery scandal. 

The Nation reports that the former INEC chairman allegedly drew up the strategies on how the bribery could be perfected. 

According to a source in the EFCC, the anti-graft agency has been on his trail in the last two weeks but he has managed to evade arrest. 

The source said: “Our operatives are still looking for him. We have put other security agencies on the alert.

“He is wanted in connection with the N23.29 poll bribery perpetrated by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.” 

The ex-INEC boss was said to have been rewarded handsomely for his role. During investigation, the EFCC discovered that the N23.29billion was shared to electoral officials in all the 36 states, some individuals and Non-Governmental Organisations, which deployed election monitors. 

There are indications that many INEC officials and ad hoc workers benefitted from the bribe. Two weeks ago, the anti-graft agency arrested some top INEC officials in connection with massive bribery during the 2015 elections. 

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the 2015 election in Rivers State, Gesila Khan, was arrested for allegedly collecting N185.8m while one Fidelia Omoile who was the INEC electoral officer in the Isoko-South local government area of Delta state, allegedly got N112.4million. 

Some sensitive election materials meant for the 2015 presidential and senatorial polls were reportedly retrieved from the homes of some of the suspects. 

Also recovered were many documents on financial and landed properties from the homes of the embattled officials. Some of the documents include receipts of payments made into their accounts.

An EFCC source who spoke on the condition of anonymity revealed that in the build-up to the 2015 election, Diezani Alison-Madueke, the former minister of petroleum resources invited Nnamdi Okonkwo, the managing director and chief executive officer of Fidelity bank Plc, to help her handle some cash, which would be disbursed to electoral officials and groups. Investigation carried out by the commission revealed that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Rivers, Delta and Akwa Ibom states received N675.1 million.

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