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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Fate of indicted INEC staff to be decided by EFCC - Presidential aide says

Chibueze Ogbonna     8:56 AM     No comments


The Presidency has said that the  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will decide the fate of the former electoral officers indicted for allegedly receiving a bribe from Diezani Alison-Madueke.

A former National Commissioner and former Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) were said to have partly benefited from the N23 billion allegedly disbursed by Diezani, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, ahead of the 2015 general election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had suspended 205 officials over the bribery case and referred the cases of the National Commissioner and five former RECs (one deceased) to the Presidency and the EFCC for further action and investigation.
INEC had said it referred the cases of the National Commissioner and RECs to the Presidency and the EFCC because the Commission has to power to take a disciplinary action against them.
Speaking in an interview with Punch on Tuesday, April 18, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the EFCC will solely decide what to do with the indicted officials.
He noted that the Presidency was just notified of the development in case President Muhammadu Buhari was planning to re-appoint them or give them higher assignments.
Shehu said: "It is true that INEC referred the case of a National Commissioner and five RECs, one of them deceased, to the EFCC and the Presidency because they are political appointees.
"The truth, however, is that the EFCC is the agency investigating the matter and it is the commission that will decide what to do with the indicted persons.
"The notice sent to the Presidency is meant to just notify the President that there are cases against these persons in case he wants to re-appoint them or give them higher responsibilities.
"The independence of INEC and EFCC will be compromised if the President should take a decision on the persons."
Last week, the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, had said the anti-graft agency has already started prosecuting some of the INEC staff, adding that the process began in Lagos and that it is in motion in Port-Harcourt, Kano, and Gombe.

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