Shakeup in INEC as EFCC indicts 202 staff for fraud

The Independent National Electoral Commission has confirmed the indictment of 202 of its staff, accused of benefitting from N23 billion bribery allegedly facilitated by former minister for petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Maduekwe, ahead of the 2015 2015 elections.
In a statement on Wednesday, INEC said the staff “were accused of certain infractions”, and that they were based in 14 States.
An official who did want to be named told PREMIUM TIMES that some of the affected states are Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Delta, and Gombe States.
Following the EFCC report, confirmed to have been received since January, INEC said “the Commission subsequently queried and invited them (affected staff) to appear before an administrative panel.
“The final report of the investigation into the matter will be considered by the Commission at its meeting next week.”
Discredited officers in Rivers polls face music
The electoral commission also disclosed it had received the report of an administrative panel on the bloody December 10, 2016 legislative rerun elections in Rivers State.
According to the commission, 29 staff were indicted for misconducts in the elections that were just finally concluded last Saturday, due to widespread violence and irregularities.

“29 Staff were recommended for disciplinary action, and their cases are currently being handled by the Commission’s Disciplinary Committee,” said INEC.
Last week, INEC said it had received police report on the Rivers election and confirmed 25 of its staff were indicted.
The 25 officials indicted by the police would be prosecuted, said INEC, pledging cooperation with police.
It is not immediately clear if the 25 staff indicted by the police were among the 29 recommended for disciplinary action by INEC’s own panel.
A spokesperson for INEC, Nick Dazang, could not be reached for comment.
Shakeup
In apparent response to its messy outing in Rivers, INEC said all its directing staff, administrative secretary and heads of departments were being redeployed out of the oil-rich state notorious for deadly electoral violence.
All Electoral Officers heading the 23 Local Government Areas were also affected in the shakeup, the commission said.
Meanwhile, by March 4, 33 states of the federation would be without Resident Electoral Officers, who head INEC operations in the sub-national units.
“By March 4, five more RECs will complete their tenure. This is in addition to the 28 RECs who had earlier completed their tenure.
“Those leaving are: Prof. Jacob Jatau (F.C.T), Mr. Segun Agbaje (Ondo), Barr. Austin Okojie (Bayelsa), and Mr. Nasir Ayilara (Niger).”
Although the commission said five RECs were due for retirement, it only mentioned four. PREMIUMTIMES.M

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