Our officials took N3bn bribe to manipulate 2015 polls – INEC

Our officials took N3bn bribe to manipulate 2015 polls – INEC
April 12 10:36 2017

The Independent National Electoral Commission has suspended 205 of its officials for allegedly receiving 3 billion naira as bribe to rig the 2015 elections.

The bribe according to a National Commissioner and member of the Information and Voter Education Committee at INEC, Mallam Mohammed Haruna, was part of the N23bn alleged to have been disbursed by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, ahead of the 2015 general elections.

Haruna, who briefed journalists after a meeting of the leadership of the commission on Tuesday, said the commission also decided to place the 205 affected officials on half salaries in accordance with the terms and conditions of service of the commission.

Haruna said the commission had referred the cases of a former National Commissioner and five former Resident Electoral Commissioners (one late) to the Presidency and the EFCC for further action.

He added that it was not within the powers of the commission carry out further action and prosecute the cases involving them.

He told reporters that 80 serving officials of the commission, who were not named in the EFCC report but whose names came up in the course of the investigation, were also queried and interviewed by a committee set up to investigate the matter.

Haruna added that a non-governmental organisation identified as West African Network of Election Observers made up of retired INEC officials was used to bribe INEC staff to influence the outcome of the 2015 general elections.

He stated also that the committee was able to establish that INEC staff received N3,046,829,000 in 16 states of the federation to influence the outcome of the election.

“There was a clear attempt to bribe INEC staff to influence the outcome of the 2015 general elections using an NGO, West African Network of Election Observers, made up mainly of retired senior INEC officials.

“Out of over N23bn, which the EFCC report said was used to influence the elections, the committee established that N3,046,829,000 was received by INEC staff in 16 states,” he added

He stressed that a decision was taken to refer the 70 members of staff to the EFCC because of insufficient information on their involvement in the scandal.

Haruna said the NGO involved in the scandal had been barred from all INEC activities.