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INEC suspends officers over 2015 vote fraud

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Nigeria's electoral agency has suspended more than 200 officers for accepting bribes to influence the outcome of the 2015 vote won by the opposition.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said late Tuesday that 205 staff were found guilty of corruption after an investigation by the anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

"Based on their level of involvement, 205 serving INEC staff will be immediately placed on interdiction, which entails suspension from duties and being placed on half salary, pending the final determination of the cases they have with the EFCC," it said.

The commission said the case of 70 other staff would be sent back to the EFCC for further investigation and possible prosecution.

It said the electoral officers suspended were found to have collected some three billion naira (9.5 million dollars, 8.9 million euros) in bribes to influence the election which was lost by the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of ex-president Goodluck Jonathan.

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

"Out of over 23 billion naira, which the EFCC report said was used to influence the elections, the committee (INEC) established that 3,046,829,000 naira was received by INEC staff in 16 states," it added.

The NGO through which the bribe was distributed was also sanctioned.

"WANEO and its principal promoters are immediately blacklisted. The network shall no longer be involved in election observation and any other activities organised by INEC," it said.

The commission vowed to continue to defend the integrity of the electoral process by taking tough action against officials found to have misbehaved.

The 2015 election won by the All Progressive Congress (APC) of President Muhammadu Buhari was the first opposition victory in Nigeria's history.

Several leading members of the PDP have been accused and are standing trial for using state funds to influence the vote.

Critics however accuse the ruling APC part of a witch-hunt against PDP members in its anti-graft campaign.


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4 Comments
  • Naijaman

    If the allegedly tainted INEC personnel are on suspension pending the outcome of their investigation and or prosecution by EFCC, why is Saraki still running the Senate full-time? Why do same rules not apply similarly to everyone across the board in Naija?

    • duwdu

      Well said, Naijaman.

      ……..
      P34c3
      …..

  • Sal Yarima

    With computer elections it will be easy to hack into the computers and change the result. I am sure many computer gurus in Nigeria can become billionaires overnight. All they have to do is offer anybody who has money the option to hack the elections in Nigeria and install him as president.

    The 50 Nigerian senators who have forced electronic voting on Nigerians did this so they can remain in office for life. Most Nigerians are stupid educated people .

    Even the USA could not protect its computers from electronic hacking, how can Nigeria. Hackers in Nigeria it is your duty to make a comedian like PawPaw president to show how stupid the 50 Nigerian senators are for forcing Electtonic voting in Nigeria.

  • Facebook User

    “Out of over 23 billion naira, which the EFCC report said was used to influence the elections, the committee (INEC) established that 3,046,829,000 naira was received by INEC staff in 16 states,” . This leaves 20 billion naira. So, who did that one go to and who disbursed it?