INEC writes Buhari for directions on RECs indicted by EFCC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has written to President Muhammadu Buhari for directions on the fate of RECs indicted for alleged corruption by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The EFCC had, in its probe of sums allegedly diverted from federal government coffers and used as bribes during the 2015 general elections, indicted 4 RECs. The RECs allegedly received part of the N23 billion bribe said to have been distributed by former petroleum resources minister, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, to election officials to influence the results of the 2015 presidential election. INEC National Commissioner in charge of Publicity and Voter Education, Mr Solomon Soyebi, on Monday said that the commission decided to write the presidency about the indictment of the RECs because it had little control over them. Concerning the present status of the 4 RECs, Soyebi said only the EFCC which investigated them could provide an answer to that. “What we did was to write to the Presidency to notify it of a particular number of RECs that the EFCC told us they had cases against. “About three or four RECs are involved, but I am not too sure. I don’t know their names off- hand,” Soyebi said. He added that the cases involving the 202 officials of the commission, who were indicted for allegedly receiving part of the N23bn bribe, were still being investigated and reviewed by the commission. The EFCC had, in October last year, submitted a report to INEC regarding the over 200 electoral officials who allegedly received part of the $115m (N23bn) allegedly disbursed by Diezani. Some of the officials were said to have returned over N300m while houses were recovered from some of them. EFCC sources said two houses and two plazas had been recovered from the REC in Rivers State during the 2015 elections, Gesila Khan, while her accounts had been frozen. According to the Punch, Khan received N185.8m ahead of the March 28 and April 11, 2015 elections. Another REC in Abia State, Sylvester Ezeani, allegedly received N20m but is said to have returned the money to the EFCC.