EFCC arrests INEC staff over 2015 poll bribery scandal

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday arraigned the Administrative Secretary of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Gombe State, Tarkumbur G. Gregory and two retired staff of the electoral body, Yunusa Ali Biri and Bunu Mulima.

The accused persons are facing trial before Justice Abubakar Jauro of the Gombe State High Court on three-count charge bordering on alleged receipt of gratification to the tune of N138 million to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential elections.

According to a statement issued by EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, the “offence was committed between March and May, 2015, in contravention of Section 9 (1) (2) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

The statement said: “The defendants pleaded not guilty to all the charges read to them. In view of their plea, the prosecution counsel Abubakar Aliyu urged the court to fix a date for trial.

“While adjourning the case to 1st and 2nd November, 2017 for hearing, Justice Jauro admitted the accused persons to bail on the terms of the administrative bail earlier granted them by the Commission.”

INEC had announced some disciplinary measures following an expanded meeting of its Appointment, Promotion and Disciplinary Committee on the EFCC Interim Report on Bribery, Corruption and Money Laundering charges during the 2015 general elections.

It said that out of N23billion poll bribery cash, N3,046,829, 000 was traced to some of its staff involved in the 2015 general elections.

The commission also referred a National Commissioner and five Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs), who were implicated in the bribery scandal, to the presidency for disciplinary action.

INEC said it has suspended 205 officials pending the final determination of cases they have with the EFCC.

But following insufficient information, 70 other staff had been referred back to EFCC for further investigation.

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