More information has continued to roll out concerning the electoral officers who allegedly received a bribe total of N23B.
Investigators say the money was made available by former petroleum resources Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke. Sources at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) who have spoken to Pulse on separate occasions in the past, say the sum was taken from the coffers of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
According to investigators, Diezani used the money to bribe Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in a bid to have former President Goodluck Jonathan win the 2015 presidential election.
Investigators say the cash was wired to the RECs after the election. They were instructed to rewrite or change some of the election figures, as their part of the deal.
Most of the RECs are senior lecturers in Nigerian universities. Prominent among those who benefited from the slush N23B fund are Gesil Khan, Fidelia Omoile, Immaculata Asuquo and Sylvester Ezeani, among others.
Khan served as the REC for Rivers State during the 2015 general elections. She’s currently the REC for Cross River State. EFCC investigators have told Pulse that Khan received close to N200M from Diezani to alter the results of the presidential vote in Rivers.
Fidelia Omoile who is the electoral officer in Isoko South Local Government of Delta State, allegedly received N112M bribe from Diezani.
Sylvester Ezeani who is the REC for Abia State, allegedly pocketed N20M in bribe.
Akwa Ibom REC, Immaculata Asuquo, was N214M richer by the time the 2015 general election was over. Other beneficiaries of the loot were Edem Okon Effanga (N242M) and Uluochi Obi Brown (N111M), Pulse was informed by investigators who craved anonymity because they had not been authorised to comment for this story.
The Nation reports that the indicted electoral officers will soon face a probe panel. The panel is headed by INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) National Commissioner, Baba Shettima Arfo.
The newspaper quotes a source as saying that; “It is after the panel has concluded its work that a disciplinary action will be taken against the guilty ones. Thereafter, the EFCC will proceed with the trial of those with cases to answer.
“It is too early to conclude that all the 200 employees will face trial. They are only going through an internal fact-finding process in INEC.”
The source added: “The panel is actually taking on the implicated employees based on the six geopolitical zones.
“These employees, after answering queries, have been coming to the INEC headquarters to appear before the panel.”
Khan, who is one of the indicted RECs, has reportedly applied to travel abroad for medical care.
The Nation writes that: “The anti-graft agency is weighing whether to release her seized travel document or not, because some suspects have hidden under medical trips to escape trial.
Concerning Khan’s proposed medical trip abroad, an EFCC source is quoted as saying: “We may also give her conditions, including being on surveillance by collaborating agencies in whichever country she is travelling to. We have had instances where some suspects who were allowed to travel abroad, did not come back.”
EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren confirmed to a reporter that investigations bordering on the RECs who allegedly received bribe, were on. He however declined providing details when pressed to do so.
“I am not speaking on this issue”, Uwujaren said. “Everything concerning this matter is under investigation. There is an investigation that is going on, but for now I can’t make any comments on that”.
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