Nigeria’s Mahmood Yakubu led Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has wielded the big stick over the N23bn bribe allegedly issued by Diezani Alison-Madueke, former Minister of Petroleum Resources, ahead of the 2015 general elections.
The Punch writes that the electoral body has suspended 202 personnel indicted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the bribery scandal while also placing them on half salaries pending the outcome of their prosecution by the government.
This comes after the suspension of 23 electoral officers indicted by the joint Police/Department of State Services report on the Rivers rerun election on March 9, 2017.
“The commission has suspended the 202 personnel who were indicted by the EFCC for receiving bribe ahead of the 2015 elections,” a top source revealed.
“Already, they have been placed on half salaries and they are no longer coming to work. It means that they are on suspension.”
Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of INEC, confirmed that the affected staff would remain suspended until their names were cleared.
“We are waiting for their prosecution, and you know court cases take quite some time to end,” he said.
“So, our position is that the suspension remains.
“If they are cleared, they will come back to their former positions; if they are not cleared, no further actions would be taken.”
Strong indications suggest that the EFCC will soon arraign the affected officers after its Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, submitted the report to the Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, during a meeting in Abuja in December.
It is understood that their prosecution would come as a follow-up to whatever internal disciplinary actions INEC carries out on them.