No New Date For Botched By-Election In Rivers- REC

The Resident Electoral Commissioner of Rivers State, Mr. Obo Effanga, says it is not certain when the Port Harcourt constituency 3 by-election would be concluded.

Widespread violence led to the suspension of the elections on Saturday.

Effanga said this on Sunday while addressing reporters.

He said the Commission would continue to conduct credible elections in the state, in spite of the roles played by the armed security personnel, whom he alleged accompanied hoodlums to disrupt the exercise yesterday.

Also speaking, Akwa Ibom state REC, Mike Igini, who was in Rivers to assist with the polls, estimated 100 out of 142 polling units used for the election witnessed violence.

He said one NEC staff was stabbed while another was beaten by hoodlums, while a Corps member had a fracture on the leg bone.

Cyril Omorogbe, Bayelsa State REC was also in Rivers for the exercise.

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NILDS Calls For Standardized Election Observation Guidelines

Critical stakeholders commit to new guidelines on domestic election observation as a 2-Day Summit, organized by the National Institute for Democratic Studies, NILDS begins in Abuja.

The consultative meeting has brought together, INEC, Domestic observer groups and international development partners. The objective is to develop a harmonized and standardized framework for domestic election observation that would promote genuine electoral process and credible elections; engender positive citizen perception that inspire public confidence, reinforce electoral integrity and guarantee legitimacy of governments as an outcome of elections.

The Senate President, Sen. (Dr) Bukola Saraki, while declaring the summit open, in an address by his Chief of Staff, Baba Ahmed, noted that “As 2019 general elections draw nearer, it is my hope that we will not only replicate the success story of 2015, but surpass our previous achievements. Thus we should consider 2015 as a minimum standard. The development of a harmonized and standardized framework for domestic election observation will go a long way in supporting the organization of free and competitive elections which is not only a political priority but a moral imperative”, he added.

In his keynote address, Prof Attahiru Jega has called for structured engagement with  INEC by Domestic election observer groups and a partnership with stakeholders, especially, the CSO’s, to guarantee continuous improvement in the quality of elections and build confidence in the integrity of the electoral process”.

Earlier, the Director General NILDS, Prof. Ladi Hamalai, represented by the Director Democratic Studies, Prof. Femi Ajayi, noted that “Citizens’ observation of the electoral process has become an integral part of Nigeria’s democratic process since the country’s return to democracy. Oversight of the electoral process is an important means to protect electoral integrity and our experience has demonstrated the need for greater citizens’ engagement in elections observation”.

Meanwhile, the Head of European Union Delegation to Nigeria, represented by, Paulin Tawell has reaffirmed EU’s commitment to the growth of democracy in Nigeria with 26.5 million Euros.

The Chairman House of Representatives Committee on INEC, represented by Hon. Zakari Anglo observed that the summit, coming at a very critical time of Nigeria’s democratic growth, as we approach the 2019 general elections will bring about solutions in ways that ally with global best practices.

The summit has in attendance, a considerable number of political parties and other stakeholders.

The 2-Day Summit on Elections Observation is an initiative of NILDS, in partnership with INEC and the European Union.

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How Ondo APC Primary Election Was ‘Rigged’ – Akinyelure

ALL Progressives Congress (APC) National Vice Chairman (Southwest) Chief Pius Akinyelure has explained how the party’s governorship primary was manipulated, culminating in the submission of Chief Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the party’s candidate.

Akinyelure, in a statement, named the party’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, National Secretary Mai Mala Buni and the National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso, as the persons behind the act.

The statement, which the APC National Vice Chairman said enjoys the support of six National Working Committee (NWC) members, accused the trio of using NWC meetings to usurp powers and unilaterally take decisions that their offices did not give them the power to take.

It emerged that as many as three delegates’ lists for the election were in circulation at some point after the first list was tampered with.

Izunaso, according to the statement, single-handedly removed, added or substituted names on the initial list circulated to the party’s 24 aspirants, leading to the emergence of a second list that was altered in favour of Akeredolu.

His action enjoyed the support of Oyegun and Buni, even when other members of the NWC opposed it because it conflicted with the party’s rules.

Akinyelure’s statement reads: “The National Organising Secretary confirmed to the NWC meeting of Monday September 19, 2016 that he actually received objections from some of the aspirants as to the delegates’ list. Then he unilaterally made the adjustments as he deemed fit.

“It is emphasised that the National Organising Secretary performed these adjustments without recourse or reference to the NWC. The NWC was not appraised of his actions before the primary. The National Organising Secretary then issued this altered list to the Primary Election Committee for use in the conduct of the election.

“This altered list became available to some of the aspirants in the early hours of the election day (September 3, 2016). When the election process was about to commence, Chief Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and three other aspirants protested and raised objections as to the delegates’ list to the election committee.

“However, the committee members could not address it as it was not within their competence to do so. They went ahead with the conduct of the election.  After the declaration of the results of the election by the election committee, three aspirants petitioned the Election Appeal Committee, alleging discrepancies and the alteration of the delegates’ list provided to them by the election committee and other irregularities.

“Consequent on the above, the NWC of the party received both the Election Committee and the Election Appeal Committee’s reports, which were tabled at the NWC meeting of Monday, September 19, 2016.”

A decision by the NWC to submit the name of an interim substitute to INEC as place holder until a fresh primary was conducted suffered a setback after Oyegun, Buni and Izunaso “blindsided the other members to submit Akeredolu’s name in spite of a six to five votes in favour of presenting the substitute name”.

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INEC Declares APC’s Obaseki Winner Of Edo Governorship Election

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the Edo State gubernatorial election as the winner of the poll.

Obaseki polled 319,483 to beat his closest rival and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ize-Iyamu who polled 253,173 to come second.

Announcing the result of the election, the returning officer, Professor Kayode Soremekun said a total of 613,244 were recorded at the election, while 30,945 votes were invalid.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party in Edo State has rejected the results of the elections.

The party rejected the results at a press conference addressed by the state party chairman, Dan Orbih, on Thursday in Benin, even when the announcement of results where still ongoing at the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in Benin.

The press conference was also attended the party’s governorship candidate in the election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

Orbih, alleged that the results were pre-determined and fabricated.

The party and its candidate said they rejected the results because they were “fabricated and a pre-determined” by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Edo Government.

Mr. Orbih said the results as they were being announced by the INEC, were at a complete variance with what the party got from it agents and independent observers.

He said the two-week extension of the poll by the electoral body was to allow for more time to perfect the manipulation of the process.

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US Underwear Bomber, Abdulmutallab On Edo Election Voters Register

Adams Oshiomhole, governor of Edo state, has alleged that the portrait of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian convicted for terrorism in the US, is on a fake voter register in the state.

Speaking when John Bray, US consul general, visited him in Lagos, Oshiomhole said he was shocked to see the portrait of the “underwear bomber” in the fake register, but with a Benin name.

On December 25, 2009, Abdulmutallab was caught aboard an airline while trying to detonate explosives hidden in his underwear.

“I was shocked to find the portrait of Mr Abdulmutalab, and that will interest your Excellency, the young man who has been jailed in the US for a terrorist act,” he said.

“His portrait is in the fake voter’s register with a Benin name under it. I am sure if you look at the face, if we don’t know the face, you the US officials know the face. And you find the name under it, that it is a Benin name in Ovia south-west.

“We have evidence of two versions of voter’s register – the one they have officially distributed and the one that some elements within the ICT in INEC have also produced in Abuja. And what they have done in the past, which we hear they want to re-enact again, is that whereas they will display one voter’s register which is reasonably accurate, there are still some flaws but let me say it is about 85 percent accurate, they also have a fake one which they intend to bring and spring a surprise in certain locations where they believe that they have no chance, and when the voters go there and you find a voter’s register different from the one that you know, there will be confusion in those voting centres.

“At the end, you may end up having people’s voice level going up and one thing leading to the other, and you could have violence. We will show you those samples between the one that we know and the one we have gotten through our intelligence and I want to give a copy to the embassy, and so you can study it and see it. That, for me, is the only thing I am worried about. If the INEC has two versions of voter register and they display one officially, then we have a problem. And the reason why this is extremely worrisome for me is that in my election in 2012, INEC tried to use this method to disenfranchise many of our supporters.”

Oshiomhole also faulted INEC for allegedly registering some PDP members as election observers.

He said a PDP leader in his community was registered as an observer, and some of the thugs hired by the individual, whom he identified as “Tenebe”, engaged the police in a shootout on Monday night.

“Last night, in my local government, one of the PDP leaders, who incidentally is on the list of INEC observers, I can be very specific, one Tenebe. We have information that he got boys around and they were shooting but the police went to apprehend them; they engaged the police in a shooting,” he said.

“The police had to go and reinforce. As we speak, I don’t have information as to how that was settled. If you have people like this engaged in violence, then it poses a challenge.

“Unfortunately, it takes more than one hand in this case to achieve a free and fair election. All the political parties must be committed to putting away this thing.”

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Supreme Court Judgment Affirming My Election Long Settled In Heaven, Says Bello

Kogi State governor, Yahaya Adoza Bello has said that the decision of the Supreme Court, affirming his election, “has long been settled in heaven.”

He also called on key political actors in Kogi State, including ex-governor Wada and Faleke, to join him in rebuilding the state.

Speaking on Tuesday with journalists at the Kogi State Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro in Abuja, the governor said he would take tough measures to restore the state to its former glory.

He said, “The decision of the Supreme Court has long been settled in heaven, the Supreme Court just affirmed it. I thank my great party, the All Progressives Congress, for giving me the opportunity to serve. I also thank President Muhammadu Buhari, the best President in the world, for being on the path of truth and equity. I will fulfil the great vision of late Abubakar Audu because his spirit is alive.

“I appreciate the Supreme Court for asserting its independence. I call on all Kogites, especially Idris Wada and James Faleke, to assist me in rebuilding Kogi State, which has bled enough since its creation 25 years ago. God has saddled me with the responsibility.

“Tough decisions will be taken to bring back the state to the right path. Please support me and I call on the restive ones to drop their violence because it will not take them anywhere. We should all join hands with the President to build Nigeria.’’

Bello said he would restructure the civil service because of the menace of ‘ghost’ workers.

Also, the APC has congratulated Bello on his victory at the Supreme Court.

The National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, in his reaction to the judgment, told journalists at the party secretariat on Tuesday, that the party had sent its congratulation to the Kogi State governor.

He said, “We have congratulated the governor; we will soon issue a statement to that effect.”

 

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I Have No Regret Challenging Kogi Governorship Election Result – Faleke

The deputy governorship candidate in the November 21, 2015 governorship election in Kogi State, Hon James Faleke reacted to the judgement of the Supreme Court upholding the election of Yahaya Bell as governor of Kogi State stating that he had no regrets challenging the decision to declare the election inconclusive as the step was taken in good faith to protect the interest of the over 240,000 electorates that voted for the Audu/Faleke ticket in that election.

A statement issued by the spokesperson of the group, Hon Duro Meseko quoting Hon Faleke said it would amount to a betrayal of the sacred trust of the people who reposed implicit confidence in the Audu/Faleke ticket not to have defended the sanctity of their vote up til the Apex court level.

“We have heard the judgement handed down by the Supreme Court jurists upholding Yahaya Bello as governor. We shall wait for the full text of the judgement to know why they came to that conclusion. But let it be stated here that we have no regrets challenging the declaration of our election as inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC). What we did was to defend the votes cast for Audu/Faleke by the over 240,000 electorates on November 21, 2015. The people voted for us as candidates not APC because they believe in the kind of leadership we offer to provide for them during our campaigns. It would therefore amount to crass betrayal of the trust of these electorates not to have defended their votes till the end”.

Hon Faleke said as a lawmaker, he would be glad to read details of the judgement so as to “know which areas of our nation’s jurisprudence require urgent review”.

He urged all his supporters to remain calm, peaceful and law abiding while thanking them for their support and perseverance all through the court proceedings.

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Supreme Court Upholds Election Of Yahaya Bello As Kogi Governor

The Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed the election of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

The seven-man panel headed by Justice Sylvester Ngwata affirmed the election after listening to the closing statements of all the counsel.

The court in a unanimous judgement dismissed the appeal filed by Hon. James Faleke, the deputy to Late Abubakar Audu, candidate of the APC aand Captain Idris Wada of the PGP.

The court said it will give reasons for its judgement on September 30, 2016

The election petition tribunal of the state and the court of appeal had dismissed their petitions against the governor for lacking in merit.

The All Progressives Congress substituted Bello as its governorship candidate and retained Faleke as its deputy governorship candidate after Audu died at the conclusion of the first round of the election held on November 21.

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N23.29b Election ‘Bribe’: EFCC To Prosecute Ex-Rivers REC, 99 Others

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is set to prosecute about 100 officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials indicted in the N23.29b bribe during the 2015 elections.

Before the prosecution however, the indicted officials will face internal disciplinary action from INEC before being handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Those indicted include two Resident Electoral Commissioners – Gesil Khan, Mr. Slyvester Ezeani – 16 directors and 82 others.

Some of those indicted have refunded money and a few others have their assets confiscated by EFCC.

The chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu and Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu are to meet on the interim report on the scandal.

According to TheNation, A source in the EFCC, who spoke in confidence, said: “We are set for the trial of the indicted INEC officials. We are making the interim report of our investigation available to INEC any moment from now.

“We have a major challenge in INEC. The electoral commission said its rules and regulations do not allow it to hand over the indicted officers to the EFCC for prosecution.

“It said once a report is filed by the anti-graft commission, the INEC management will invoke internal disciplinary mechanism since the allegations are on election matters.  After the disciplinary action, the EFCC can arraign them in court.

“We are trying to follow due process as much as possible. So far, INEC has cooperated in releasing all those invited for questioning.

“Once the EFCC and INEC chairmen meet in the next few days, we will then know where we are going.”

A National Commissioner, who spoke in confidence, said: “We are awaiting the report of the EFCC and when we get it, we will subject the affected officials to our internal process. We are operating in a democratic environment and we have to observe due process in whatever we are doing.

“So far, we have lived up to expectations in handing over any INEC officials implicated to EFCC for interrogation, we have not shielded anybody no matter how highly placed.

“We have also taken pre-emptive steps to check these 100 employees. We have exempted them from sensitive operations of the commission pending the conclusion of investigation and the outcome of their trial if any.

The EFCC has been probing the embattled former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, on her  alleged involvement in a $115m (N23, 299,705,000billion) 2015 poll bribery scandal.

About four oil firms, 14 directors of oil companies, two banks and some politicians are under probe.

Some INEC officials already grilled are REC Gesil Khan for allegedly collecting  N185, 842,000 out of a N681million bribe; 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 alleged N 406,206,000 bribe allegedly collected on behalf of the deceased Resident Electoral Commissioner  (REC) in Kano State, Alhaji Mukaila Abdullahi.

Those grilled in Gombe are: Godwin Maiyaki Gambo Balanga, Bukar Alone Benisheik, Dukku, Jibril. B. Muhammed,Billiri, Dunguma Musa Dogona, Funakaye, Mohammed. A. Wanka, Kaltungo, Ishaku Yusuf, Kwami, Suleiman Isawa, Nafada, Babagana Malami, Shongom, and Nuhu Samuel, Y/Deba.

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Still On The Postponement of Edo Governorship Election, By Joe Onwukeme

The postponement of the Edo Governorship election, earlier scheduled to hold on the 10th of September over what our security agencies described as security threat by militants and extremists during the period has finally revealed the level of unpreparedness of our security agencies in times like this.

It calls for great concern that an intelligence report of insecurity was gathered and our security agencies that had already deployed more than twenty thousand of its personnel already to Edo State before the election was postponed couldn’t do anything about the intelligence report than calling for the postponement of the election. Does it mean our security agencies do not have all it takes to confront the insurgents in whatever capacity? What then is the essence of the intelligence gathering?

It is a slap on our security agencies and a threat to our Nation. What it simply implies is that, whenever there is an event as big as an election, what the enemies of our democracy and those who are not sure of victory during the polls need to do to frustrate the process is to fake intelligence report or mobilize thugs to issue out threats of a holocaust in some regions.

Trust our security agencies, even when such intelligence gathering can’t be verified, they will hurriedly call for a press conference with repeated sermons of insecurity and breach of public peace as the reason for the postponement without synergy and harmonization from other relevant agencies.

The action of our security agencies which coerced the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) into postponing the Edo governorship poll slated Saturday, September 10th has continued to erode the public trust in our institutions. Many are increasingly of the opinion that there’s no difference between our security agencies and boys scout, I concur!

Our security agencies shouldn’t allow miscreants and rag tagged urchins in militant form to dictate to Nigerians when things should be done or when not to, it is shameful, and regrettable that at this point in our democracy, our security agencies are failing daily to live up to expectations.

No one is talking about the losses incurred by all those involved directly or indirectly in the conduct of the election: INEC, political parties, supporters, and by extension Edo State by this singular act of postponing the governorship poll few days before the scheduled date.

The only thing that will justify the postponement of the Edo governorship poll is if those who our security agencies reported to have perpetrated plans to carry out a terror attack on innocent citizens during the period of the election are arrested and paraded, if not, all those involved in the postponement of the election should be punished/sanctioned for allowing rag tagged urchins and figments of some persons’ imagination to determine the fate of our democracy.

Joe Onwukeme

I tweet @unjoerated

unjoeratedjoe@gmail.com

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Falae Tenders Evidence To EFCC Linking Jonathan To N100m Election Fund Scam

A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, has submitted to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission an email correspondence between him and a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih.

Falae tendered the email as an evidence in the probe linking him to N100m election funds

It was learnt that Anenih, in the email, mentioned that he was acting on the instruction of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

A source at the EFCC told our correspondent that in the email dated March 2015, Anenih, who played a supervisory role in the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, informed Falae that N100m had been approved by Jonathan and would be handed over to him (Falae).

A source at the EFCC said, “In the email, Anenih told Chief Falae, who is the Chairman of the SDP that N100m had been approved by President Jonathan as part of the agreement between the PDP and the SDP ahead of the presidential election.

“He further urged Falae to provide an account which the money would be paid into.”

The N100m, which was given to Falae by Anenih, was said to have emanated from the imprest account of the Office of the National Security Adviser in the Central Bank of Nigeria.

It was eventually paid into the account of Marreco Limited, where Falae is chairman. The fund was credited into the company’s United Bank for Africa Plc account, 1000627022, on March 25, 2015.

When contacted on the telephone, a spokesman for Falae, Mr. Alfa Mohammed, confirmed that 78-year-old Falae had submitted all correspondence between Falae and the PDP.

He said, “We had a letter of agreement between the PDP and the SDP regarding cooperation between the two parties for the election. There was an email from Anenih stating that Mr. President (Jonathan) told him to transfer the money to that effect.

“We have submitted everything to the EFCC, but the EFCC has not deemed it fit to invite Anenih which shows that it is people within the All Progressives Congress that are just trying to rubbish the image of Chief Falae, who has served meritoriously as a permanent secretary, a SGF and a finance minister.”

Mohammed said the PDP still owed the SDP about N70m and it was unrealistic of the EFCC to ask Falae to return the N100m.

He said Falae could not have known that the money emanated from the ONSA and thus could not be held liable.

The commission had finalised plans to charge the ex-SGF with conspiracy to indirectly retain the sum of N100m which he ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an “unlawful act to wit: stealing.”

The EFCC had alleged in March that about N3.145bn was mysteriously transferred from the account of the ONSA to the account of Joint Trust Dimensions Limited, a company allegedly owned by the Director of Finance of the Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Senator Nenadi Usman.

Usman was said to have transferred N840m to the account of the Director of Publicity of the organisation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, in Maitama branch of the Zenith Bank with number, 1004735721, on February 19, 2015, while she allegedly gave Falae N100m on the instruction of Anenih.

A former Governor of Imo State, Achike Udenwa, and a former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Viola Onwuliri, according to some documents, got N350m in two tranches. The first tranche of N150m was paid into their joint account with Zenith bank on January 13, 2015. The second tranche of N200m was credited into their account with Diamond bank.

Usman and Fani-Kayode had been arraigned before the Federal High Court in Lagos and their accounts frozen while Udenwa and Falae are expected to be arraigned soon.

Attempts to reach the Media Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Ikechukwu Eze, were not successful as repeated calls to his mobile phones did not connect.

Similarly, a text message sent to his phones had yet to be delivered as of press time.

All attempts to speak with Anenih’s spokesman, Mr. Ojeifo Sufuyan, also proved abortive as his line did not connect, while a text message sent to his telephone had yet to be responded to as of 7pm on Sunday.

However, in a letter he had personally written to the EFCC in January, Anenih admitted that he received N260m for Jonathan’s election campaign out of which he gave Falae N100m.

He, however, maintained that the ex-President still owed him N180m.

Anenih had said, “I was not in a position to ask the former President how he was going to source the fund. I was not a direct beneficiary of the sum of N260m that was a part refund of the money I spent on the president’s instructions.

“A sum of N63 million was disbursed to a northern group, led by elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, for mobilisation and post-election peace advocacy in that part of the country.

“N100m was given to the National Chairman of the SDP, Chief Olu Falae, to enable the party to mobilise support and votes for the PDP presidential candidate since the SDP did not have a candidate for the election.”

Credit: Punch

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Abia INEC REC Returns N20m Election Cash To EFCC

Abia State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC)  Sylvester Ezeani has refunded N20million to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The cash is part of the N23.29billion bribe given to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials to change the results of the 2015 election.

Three RECs have been named in the scandal. One of them is dead.

The EFCC has seized two choice shopping malls from a REC Gesil Khan.

Besides, the account of the REC with about N59million has been frozen by the anti-graft agency.

A retired INEC official, Sani Isa, was questioned for N406,206,000 bribe allegedly collected on behalf of the deceased REC in Kano State, Alhaji Mukaila Abdullahi.

The number of INEC staff invited and questioned by the EFCC has risen to 100.

INEC is awaiting a comprehensive brief from the anti-graft agency on the affected staff, it was learnt that  only President Muhammadu Buhari can determine the fate of the RECs.

Ezeani’s N20million came from the $115m(N23.29billion) which former Minister of Petroleum Resources Diezani Alison-Madueke is said to have provided.

A source in EFCC,  who spoke in confidence, said: “Faced by overwhelming evidence from our team, Ezeani has refunded to the commission N20million, which was traced to him.

“About N241million was allocated to INEC when Ezeani was the REC in Cross River State during the 2015 poll.

“We are working on other INEC staff to refund the cash credited to them from the slush funds. So far, about N503million has been recovered from INEC staff and politicians involved in the poll bribery scandal in Port Harcourt Zone alone.

“We are determined to retrieve a huge chunk of the N23.29billion bribe.”

Meanwhile, the number of INEC staff quizzed by EFCC  on the poll bribery cash has risen to about 100.

A source in INEC said: “At least about 100 staff of this commission have either been invited or interrogated by the EFCC as part of its ongoing investigation. T5he number could be higher than the current figure because investigation is still in progress.

“It is too early to say that these staff have been indicted or not  by the EFCC. We are however awaiting a comprehensive brief from the anti-graft commission on its findings on each of the affected staff.

“Do not forget that some of them even serve as witnesses for EFCC, depending on the circumstances of their postings during the poll.”

Responding to a question, the source added: “Staff found guilty of infractions will be subjected to the civil service rules and regulations on disciplinary action.”

Another INEC source spoke on reports on some RECs but “there is nothing the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu or the management can do.

“The appointment of National Commissioners and RECs is at the behest of President Muhammadu Buhari. What INEC management can do is to forward the EFCC’s report on any REC to the President who has the powers to appoint or remove such officer.

“So, the Presudent will determine the fate of RECs implicated in the scandal if they are found culpable.”

About four oil firms, 14 directors of oil companies, two banks and  100 INEC officials, including RECs are under investigation too.

Some INEC officers already grilled are REC Gesil 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 others.

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