The Independent National Electoral Commission has formed a panel that will review cases of its 100 personnel, who were indicted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in connection with alleged atrocities committed in the 2015 general elections.
The affected personnel were indicted by the EFCC, whose operatives investigated them for allegedly receiving part of the N23bn bribe, which was said to have been facilitated by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, ahead of the 2015 elections.
The PUNCH had exclusively reported on Wednesday that INEC had received the report of the EFCC probe.
According to its report, the electoral body assured that those found to have received the bribe would be suspended in accordance with the provisions of the INEC’s conditions of service.
Investigations on Friday revealed that the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who received the EFCC’s report, immediately commenced work on it by setting up an internal panel to review the cases of all the personnel involved for appropriate disciplinary action.
It was learnt that the panel was headed by a national commissioner, whose identity was not revealed, to examine the cases of all those listed for sanction in the EFCC’s report.
A top official of the commission told our correspondent that the panel started sitting on the report on Tuesday.
The source said, “The EFCC just submitted the report on the indicted personnel to the commission last week.
“I don’t think the details of that report are available now but what I can tell you is that the commission is working on the report.
“Already, the chairman has constituted a high-powered committee to commence immediate work on the report submitted by the EFCC.
“The panel, led by one of the national commissioners, started sitting on the report on Tuesday.”
When our correspondent contacted the Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of INEC, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, he said he did not have authorisation to comment on the matter.
Similarly, the Deputy Director in Charge of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Nick Dazang, simply said ‘no comment’, when he was contacted to speak on the issue on Thursday.
The media had reported on Wednesday that INEC had taken a decision to subject the over 100 indicted officials to the conditions of service of the commission by ensuring that they are placed on suspension.
It will also be recalled, on December 10, 2016, reports have it that the EFCC report contained the outcome of investigations in five geopolitical zones.
According to the report, among those affected was a former Resident Electoral Commissioner in Rivers State during the 2015 elections, Gesila Khan.
Two houses and two plazas were said to have been recovered from Khan, while her accounts had been frozen.
Khan allegedly received N185.8m ahead of the March 28 and April 11, 2015 elections.
The EFCC had also arrested one Fidelia Omoile, who was the INEC electoral officer in Isoko South Local Government Area in Delta State during the elections.