Thursday, October 10, 2019 6:36 am
The Sokoto Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday carried out an operation at the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Zamfara State, leading to the recovery of N65.548 million.
The money, in higher denominations of Naira notes, was recovered from two fire proof safes during a search in the offices of the Head of Accounts and Cashier of INEC in the state.
The operation was sequel to a petition by an adhoc staff of the electoral body alleging that officials of the Commission illegally deducted part of the allowance due to them for the last general election.
According to the complainant, while INEC in Zamfara State allegedly paid its ad hoc staff N9,000, others in states like Sokoto were paid N12,000.
The recovered fund, according to a statement by the spokesman of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, is suspected be part of the funds illegally deducted from releases meant to cater for the movement of materials and electoral officials as well as provision of chairs, tables and canopies for the 2019 governorship and presidential elections in the state
The Commission had few days ago had arrested four officials of INEC in the state.
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 N84.696 million.
EFCC said its investigations revealed that none of the 10,500 presiding officers who participated in the elections were paid their entitlements.
The anti-graft agency also arrested 14 electoral officers.
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; 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.
Uwujaren said the investigation is still on going while efforts are being made to recover all the illegal deductions.