Sunday 17 April 2016

2015 Election: EFCC Detains INEC Officials in 3 PDP South-South States

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is said to have discovered more than N675.1 million in the bank accounts of senior Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials in Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Delta states.

According to Punch Newspapers, the money is said to have been given to the INEC officials during the 2015 governorship elections in the states.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the governorship elections in all three states.
Gesila Khan, the embattled Resident Electoral Commissioner in the 2015 election in Rivers State, is currently under the custody of the anti-graft agency pending further investigation.
It was learnt that incriminating evidence were found at the residence of the INEC officials after it was searched by the EFCC.
It is yet to be ascertained if the anti-graft agency had obtained a legal warrant to search the properties of Khan and others.
According to sources in the EFCC, Khan is alleged to have received about N185.8 million before the 2015 elections in Rivers state. The source further hinted that Khan was cooperating with the agency after making a confessional statement.
“Khan was the REC in Rivers State in 2015 election before she was transferred to Cross River early this year. She was said to have received N185.8m. She has made confessional statements,” a source, who requested anonymity, said.
Others arrested by the EFCC are: Edem Okon Essanga, a retired INEC official, and Immaculata Asuquo, the Head, Voter Education, INEC, Akwa Ibom State.
The source stated that: “Essanga received N241.1m during the general election. He admitted receiving the money and confirmed sharing it with different ad hoc workers during the election. His accomplice Asuquo has also been arrested.”
Also one Fidelia Omoile, an INEC electoral officer in Isoko-South Local Government Area, Delta State, was arrested after N112 million was traced to her.
“She received N112.4m during the 2015 general election. A search warrant was executed at her residences in Asaba and Benin. Sensitive materials used in the 2015 elections were recovered, including evidence of the suspicious bank transaction and land documents that will assist us in our investigations.”
Furthermore, the INEC administrative secretary in Delta State, Oluchi Obi Brown, was arrested for receiving N111 million.
“Oluchi received N111.5m during the general election. Investigations showed that she operates a foreign account with the Bank of America. As of February this year, the account balance was $75,857, (N24, 274,240).”
The source noted that efforts were underway to recover the said funds and that the agency was using the confessional statements from the suspects to catch bigger fishes.

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