- 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.
Nigeria Immigration Service Reopens Portal With New Passport Application and Payment Process
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has announced the reopening of its passport application and payment portal.
The assistant comptroller of immigration, Mr Amos Okpu announced in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.
In the statement, Mr Muhammad Babandede, the Comptroller-General of the service, said the portal became effective for new applications from 12 midnight on Tuesday.
Babandede further said that the portal would allow eligible applicants to apply and make payments for the various categories of passports of their choice.
Mr Muhammad Babandede explained that with the reopening of the portal, a new passport application and payment regime had begun.
The statement in full:
“The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (CGI), Muhammad Babandede MFR, has announced the reopening of the Passport application and payment portal effective 8th June 2021 by 12 midnight to allow eligible Passport applicants to apply and make payments for the various categories of Passports of their choice.
The Passport portal was closed following the directives of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on the 17th of May, 2021to afford the Service the opportunity to clear all backlogs of applications that have piled up across Issuing Centres in the past few months.
With the reopening of the portal, a new Passport application and payment regime have commenced. Under the new Passport regime;
Applications and payments for Passport services shall be made through the Service website www.immigration.gov.ng;
- applicants are expected to visit the portal to apply and upload their support documents for vetting and processing;
- a chat room facility to guide applicants through the application and payment process has been provided on the portal;
- upon successful applications, applicants shall make their online booking interview/enrollment appointment on any day, time and location they consider convenient;
- that the new timeline for Passport production and issuance after a successful enrollment at the selected Issuing Centre shall be six weeks for Fresh applications and three weeks for Re-issue (Renewal applications);
- that no applicant who is yet to make an online application and payment shall be allowed into any of the Passport Issuing Centres for Passport processing;
- applicants will be contacted through email and phone number they provided during application when their Passports are ready;
- a helpline with the number 08021819988 has been provided for feedback mechanism on any challenges.
The Comptroller General, Muhammad Babandede MFR wishes to use this medium to call on Nigerians and indeed Passport applicants to avoid patronizing touts as the entire process has been made seamless for effective and efficient service delivery. He warned Passport racketeers to desist from acts capable of undermining the reform efforts to avoid very strict sanctions.
Signed AMOS OKPU MNIPR
ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER OF IMMIGRATION
SERVICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
For: COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF IMMIGRATION 8TH JUNE, 2021″
INEC To Publish The List Of New Polling Units Next Week
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has pledged to publish a comprehensive list of its new polling units across the nation next week.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja.
Yakubu was speaking at the formal handing over of a new state of the art fire truck, deployed to the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja by the Federal Fire Service (FFS).
He said that details of the locations of its registration centers and the procedure for the commencement of online registration for resumption of nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) would be made available in the second week of May.
He expressed appreciation of the commission to the FFS and all security agencies for the demonstration of their support to protecting INEC facilities
He said that the support was coming on the eve of the resumption of the CVR nationwide in the next three weeks.
“We earlier assured Nigerians that we shall conclude work on the expansion of voter access to polling units and make the new polling units available to citizens ahead of the CVR exercise.
“I am glad to report that we have accomplished this task for the first time in 25 years.
“A comprehensive list of the new polling units will be published next week.
“Similarly, details of the locations of the registration centers and the procedure for the commencement of online registration will also be made available after a series of regular consultative meetings with stakeholders next week,” Yakubu said.
He said that as a member of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) FFS had been as concerned as other security agencies about the recent attacks on our offices across the country.
“This is particularly so because out of the 42 attacks on our facilities nationwide, 18 incidents resulted from arson and three more by a combination of arson and vandalisation.”
Yakubu recalled that concerned by those incidents, the commission convened an emergency meeting of ICCES last week of April, where the security agencies renewed their determination to collaborate more with the commission.
According to him, they pledged to assist the commission address the challenge beyond the routine protection of INEC assets and the security of its officials, voters, observers, the media, candidates and their agents during elections.
“On its part, the Federal Fire Service offered to deploy an additional state-of-the-art fire engine to the INEC headquarters to complement the two existing trucks.
“At the same time, it directed its state offices to take additional protective measures around other INEC facilities nationwide.
“Today’s inauguration of the new fire engine is another affirmation of the support to the commission from the FFS whose personnel, already deployed permanently to the commission
“The personnel will continue to operate and maintain the fire engines and other firefighting equipment installed by INEC,” Yakubu said.
Speaking earlier, the Controller-General (CG) of FFS, Alhaji Liman Ibrahim said the deployment of the firefighting truck was premised on recent fire attacks on INEC offices in different parts of the country.
Ibrahim, represented by the Assistant Controller-General of the service, Mr Samson Karebo, said the deployed truck would serve as fire cover for the premises of INEC headquarters and the entire Maitama vicinity of Abuja.
“The FFS is taking this step as a proactive measure to protect our critical infrastructure and help to protect our economy by forming synergy with all stakeholders in protecting our environments.
“Our center is focused on bringing firefighting operations to every part of the country as part of our statutory duties by having a presence in virtually every state in Nigeria
“The FFS will very soon be moving into all senatorial headquarters in the country. That is how we want to operate for now so that we can touch every corner of this country,” Ibrahim said.
He called for the cooperation of all for the service to better serve the nation by not molesting FFS staff in the line of duty.
In his remarks, the National Security Adviser (NSA) retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, who is also Co-Chair of ICCES, described the deployment of the truck as a demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to sustain Nigeria’s democracy and address insecurity.
Monguno said that the gesture also symbolised commitment to a clear affirmation of Buhari toward protecting institutions of government, toward securing their property, toward fighting acts of irresponsibility, vandalisation and outright criminality.
“The President is determined as much as he can within the confines of legality to suppress any kind of criminality and destruction of public property.
“This is something that he is determined to do regardless of whatever the challenges are.
“He will apply all the resources in his disposal in his capacity as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces to ensure the wider Nigerian society is safe, stable and is allowed to carry out its legitimate undertaking, free from any act of insecurity,” he said
Monguno urged all other security agencies not to relent in ensuring that they continued to protect lives and property.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Baba pledged commitment to security agencies to work with INEC and protect INEC’s facilities, citizens’ life and property.
Also at the occasion was the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, represented by Director of Joint Services, Mr Peter Obodo; as well as the representative of Director-General, Directorate of State Services, Tony Adikweruka.
Recovered Assets: Ad-hoch Committee Gives Emefiele, Others 72 Hours Ultimatum
The House of Representatives ad-hoc committee, investigating recovered assets, has given the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, 72 hours to appear before it.
The committee also issued same ultimatum to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali, and the Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Bashir Jamoh.
The summon was issued on Monday, after Mr Emefiele and the others failed to appear before the committee.
The government officials had sent representatives, but the committee chairman, Adejoro Adeogun (APC, Ondo), said they failed to forward letters to that effect.
He said allowing representatives without a proper letter of introduction would be akin to allowing “impersonators.”
“You are indirectly insulting the House of Representatives. You are undermining the House of Representatives,” an angry Mr Adeogun said.
Moving a motion to give the agencies 72hours to appear before the committee, Ibrahim Isiaka (APC, Ogun), said the agencies created by Acts of the parliament “should not be undermining the parliament”.
The motion was unanimously adopted by the committee.
Mr Isiaka suggested that the House should shut down its activities if the agencies fail to appear before them.
Business4 weeks ago
End Of The Road For Internet Explorer As Microsoft Pulls The Plug
Cryptocurrency3 weeks ago
Can cryptocurrency survive regulators? Here’s what Ripple CEO says about XRP’s future
Ethereum4 weeks ago
Ethereum Closes In on Long-Sought Fix to Cut Energy Use Over 99%
Cryptocurrency4 weeks ago
BankDhofar Launches Mobile Banking Payments from Oman to India with RippleNet
Cryptocurrency2 weeks ago
Wei Zhou, Binance’s Chief Financial Officer Resigns
Cryptocurrency3 weeks ago
US SEC To Work With Congress To Regulate Crypto Exchanges
Education3 weeks ago
Senate Passes Bill To End HND/BSc Discrimination
Cryptocurrency3 weeks ago
Crypto Traders Can Now Trade Dogecoin on Coinbase Pro