Four officials including the accountant of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have been arrested and quizzed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
TONTRENDS understands that the INEC officials are being quizzed over their alleged involvement in the diversion of money in the tune of N84696000 meant for the payment of adhoc staff engaged for Presidential and Governorship elections.
As at the time of this report,TONTRENDS learned that the suspects who work at the INEC office in Zamfara State were carefully investigated by the Sokoto Zonal Office of the anti-graft agency.
In a statement by Wilson Uwujaren, the Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, the identity of the suspects were given as; Hassan Sidi Aliyu, Administrative Secretary, Hussain Jafar, the Head of Operations and the State Accountant Abdullahi Yusuf Abubakar and Abdulmumin Usman.
The statement noted that the suspects were grilled for “alleged case of conspiracy, breach of trust and criminal diversion of Ad Hoc staff allowance to the tune of N84, 696,000”
The statement obtained by TONTRENDS reads thus; “The petitioner, one Abdullahi Nasiru, who wrote on behalf of all presiding officers that worked for INEC during the 2019 Presidential and Gubernatorial elections in Zamfara State, alleged that the Ad hoc staff were denied payment of their N6,000 movement allowance each for the two elections.
“He further alleged that what the INEC officials in Zamfara paid to them was different from what other states paid their Ad hoc staff. The INEC office in Zamfara allegedly paid its staff N9000 while in other states like Sokoto State, the electoral commission paid N12000 each.
“Investigation by the EFCC revealed that none of the 10,500 presiding officers who participated in the elections were paid their entitlements cumulatively put at N84, 696,000
“Efforts are being made by the Commission to recover the money criminally diverted by INEC heads of department and Electoral Officers of the 14 local governments in Zamfara State namely; 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); Hassan Abdullahi (Shinkafi LGA).”
The statement further noted that the suspects would be arraigned in court as soon as investigation is completed.