- EFCC Submits Report on 100 INEC Officials
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has submitted an official report to the Independent National Electoral Commission on the 100 electoral officials who allegedly received part of the $115m (N23bn) disbursed on the instruction of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, during the build-up to the 2015 presidential election.
Sources within the EFCC told one of our correspondents that the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, met with the Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, in Abuja last week.
The report was said to have contained the outcome of the investigations and recommendations of the anti-graft agency on the scam.
It was learnt that while some of the officials would face dismissal for flouting of INEC rules, a majority of the officials would be arraigned by the EFCC.
Some of the officials reportedly returned over N300m while houses were recovered from some of them.
An EFCC operative said, “We have submitted the report to INEC and it is left for the electoral body to do its part. They will guide us on prosecution and other matters.
“We heard that some of the electoral officers have gone to court to stop INEC from dismissing them. However, this cannot stop us from bringing criminal charges against them.”
The source said the report contained the outcome of investigations in five geopolitical zones.
“The report contains the outcome of investigations in all the geopolitical zones except the North-Central. It will be done later,” the source added.
He said two houses and two plazas had been recovered from the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Rivers State during the 2015 election, Gesila Khan, while her accounts had been frozen.
According to impeccable sources in the EFCC, Khan allegedly received N185.8m ahead of the March 28 and April 11, 2015 elections.
The source also revealed that the EFCC had arrested one Fidelia Omoile, who was the INEC electoral officer in Isoko-South Local Government Area of Delta State during the 2015 polls.
Apart from tracing over N112.4m to her, the commission also recovered some sensitive electoral materials during a search on her apartments in Edo and Delta states.
The commission also arrested one Oluchi Obi Brown, who was the INEC Administrative Secretary in Delta State.
She allegedly received over N111.5m.
Further investigations by detectives revealed that Brown had about $75,000 in an account in the United States.
The anti-graft agency also arrested one Edem Okon Effanga, who is a retired INEC official.
Effanga was arrested alongside his alleged accomplice, Immaculata Asuquo, who was the Head, Voter Education of INEC in Akwa Ibom State.
Effanga was alleged to have received over N241.1m, which he shared among INEC ad hoc workers during the last election.
Also in Gombe State, 11 electoral officials, who supervised elections in the state during the 2015 general elections, admitted to receiving N120m out of the N23bn.
The electoral officer for the Akko LGA in Gombe State, Ahmed Biu, and the one in charge of Gombe LGA, Mohammed Zannah, allegedly admitted to have collected the bribe from one Yunusa Biri, also a retired electoral officer, who acted as Gombe State coordinator of bribes for electoral officers in the state.
The detective gave the names of some other detained officers as Godwin Maiyaki, Gambo Balanga, Bukar Benisheik, Dukku, Jibril Muhammed, Billiri, Dunguma Dogona, Funakaye, Mohammed Wanka, Kaltungo, Ishaku Yusuf, Kwami, Suleiman Isawa, Babagana Malami, Shongom and Nuhu Samuel.
When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, said he was yet to be briefed on the submission of the report.
“I am not aware for now,” he said on Saturday.
Meanwhile, there are indications that INEC has removed the name of the former REC in Rivers State, Khan, on its list of commissioners in the states.
The Deputy Director, Voter Education and Publicity of INEC, Mr. Nick Dazang, said in a telephone conversation on Saturday that while the commission had nine serving RECS, Khan was not one of them.
He promised to get her true status from the Legal Department of the commission but had not done so as of the time of filing this report.
Dazang stated, “The statistics that I have show that there are nine RECS now, who are serving and she is not one of them.
“The position of the commission has been that the public service rules will apply, but as of now, the EFCC is investigating, then, after the investigation, the public service rule will apply.
“But I know also that there is an internal committee that was looking into the case of those persons.”
Although Dazang could not give the findings of the INEC’s internal probe panel, he said the indicted officials had all appeared before the committee which had had several sittings.
Oyekanmi, the spokesman for the INEC chairman, said the ongoing investigation into the alleged bribery scandal should be allowed to follow due process.
He said, “We should not preempt the outcome of the investigation. When the final decision is made, it would be made public. We have nothing to hide. Like I said, this is a serious crime that people are being accused of, and we have to allow due process.
“They have to be charged to court and we have to give the court the opportunity to deliver judgment. There is no internal panel that will preempt what the court is going to decide. It is what the court decides that will determine the action of the commission, not the other way round.”
He said the affected officials had not been sacked which meant that they would be entitled to their salaries.
University Of Ibadan (UI) Goes Digital, Releases Timetable for Virtual Academic Session
University of Ibadan (UI) on Friday announced it is going ahead with resumption on February 20 despite the second wave of COVID-19.
In a statement released by the school, the First Semester of the 2020/2021 academic session will commence virtually on February 20, 2021.
The virtual academic session will last for 13 straight weeks and end on Friday May 12, 2021, while the matriculation ceremony will hold on Tuesday March 16, 2021.
The University of Ibadan also scheduled one week for the Finalization of Continuous Assessment, to begin from Mon. 17 May and ends Friday 21 May.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases has compelled the Senate to approve the virtual academic session in an effort to ensure the tertiary institution abides by the protocols established by the Federal Government to curb the spread of the pandemic.
“It, therefore, agreed that the 2020/2021 First Semester lectures will be delivered online. In this regard, students will not be accommodated on campus,” a statement from the school said.
“Senate also approved the cancellation of the 2019/2020 session. The next session is, therefore, renamed 2020/2021 Academic Session. Consequently, students who have been admitted for the 2019/2020 session will now be regarded as the 2020/2021 intakes.
“Kindly note that online opening of Registration Portal and Orientation Programme for the 2020/2021 intakes may commence ahead of the Sat 20/02/21 date indicated above,” the statement said.
House of Representatives Impeached Trump Over Capitol Invasion
The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for the second time after instigating the US Capitol invasion.
Led by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, 232 representatives, including 10 Republicans, voted to impeach the outgoing president against 197 that voted for him to remain in the office for the next six days when he would handover to the president-elect, Joe Biden.
The ten Republicans were Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 leader in the House; Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington; John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Dan Newhouse of Washington; Peter Meijer of Michigan; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; David Valadao of California; and Tom Rice of South Carolina.
Speaking before the vote, Pelosi said “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the Republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”
“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said, adding later, “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.”
Republicans, who unanimously stood behind president Trump in 2019 during his first impeachment, were divided this time over the attack on Capitol.
A Republican representative from California, Kevin McCarthy, said “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
US Congress Declares Joe Biden as The 46th President of The United States After Trump Mob Left
The joint congress of the United States on Thursday, January 7, 2021 certified Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States following President Trump’s mob action that disrupted the congress joint proceeding on Wednesday.
After ordering his followers to disrupt proceedings on Wednesday, President Trump later announced that there will be an orderly transition on January 20.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement issued by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino.
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!” Trump added.
While the certification was just a mere formality as Biden had secured enough electoral college votes (270) required to clinch the world’s most powerful seat, the refusal of Donald Trump to accept the results of the November 2020 election made the session a keenly watched, especially after Trump mob disrupted a joint session of the Senate.
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