EFCC recovers N65m from INEC officials
Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has recovered N65, 548, 000 from officials of the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Zamfara State.
EFCC in a statement said the money in higher denominations of Naira notes was recovered from two fireproof safes during a search in the offices of the head of accounts and cashier of INEC in the state.
The operation was carried out in response to a petition by an ad-hoc staff of the electoral body, alleging that officials of the Commission illegally deducted part of the allowance due them for the last general election.
According to the complainant, while INEC in Zamfara allegedly paid its ad hoc staff the sum of N9,000, others in states like Sokoto were paid N12,000.
The recovered fund is suspected to be part of the funds illegally deducted from releases meant to cater for the movement of materials and electoral officials. It was also meant for the provision of chairs, tables and canopies for the 2019 governorship and presidential elections in the state.
Before the raid, EFCC had arrested four INEC officials in the state over diversion of election funds.
The officials, Hassan Sidi Aliyu, Administrative Secretary, Hussain Jafar, Head of Operations, Abdullahi Yusuf Abubakar, State Accountant, and Labaran Ishaka, Cashier, were picked for alleged conspiracy, breach of trust and criminal diversion of ad-hoc staff allowance to the tune of over N84 million.
EFCC said its investigation revealed that none of the 10,500 presiding officers who participated in the elections was paid their entitlements commutatively put at N84, 696,000.
The 14 Electoral Officers of the state were also arrested. They are: Abdullahi Sambawa, Zurmi LGA; Aliyu Jafaru Goronyo, Maradun LGA; Balarabe Ahmed S Gobir, Gummi LGA; Amadu Ibrahim, Gusau LGA; Mohammed Bashir Musa, Kaura Namoda LGA; Dalhatu Usman Musa,Birnin Magaji LGA; Abdulmumin Usman, Maru LGA; Muhammad Nasir Saidu, Talatu Mafara LGA.
Others are Abdullahi A. Ukashatu, Tsafe LGA; Tukur Garba Kaita, Bungudu LGA; Salihu Musa Abdullahi, Bukuyun LGA; Sadiq Abdullahi, Fari Anka LGA; Lawali Muhammed, Argungu Bakura LGA; Jafaru Gide, Shinkafi LGA; Tanimu Muhammad, Shinkafi LGA; and Hassan Abdullahi,Shinkafi LGA.
EFCC said an investigation is still ongoing while efforts are being made to recover all the illegal deductions.