Friday, October 16, 2015

Alleged N15m bribe: Prosecute Yobe INEC REC now, Fayose tells Buhari

The governor of Ekiti, Ayodele Fayose, has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to prosecute Yobe state Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Abu Zarma, who is alleged to have received a N15 million bribe to influence the Yobe State Governorship election.

The governor said it was only when that is done that the President’s fight against corruption can enjoy the needed credibility, adding that: “If nothing is done on a case as clear as that of the INEC REC, Nigerians can as well kiss President Buhari’s anti-corruption fight goodbye.”

In a release issued by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said it was worrisome that despite details of two bank accounts of the INEC REC, which showed that N15 million was lodged into his accounts few days to the April 11 election was admitted as evidence by the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in the state, the REC has yet to be formally charged.

He said: “It is on record that two officials of Diamond Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc tendered exhibits confirming the payment of N15 million into the REC’s accounts by the Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Zakari Deba.

“The ADC allegedly paid N8 million into the Diamond Bank account of the INEC REC and N7 million into his Zenith Bank accounts on April 8, 2015, three days before the governorship election. As at the time the N8 million was paid into the Diamond Bank account, only N28, 000 was in the account.

“Why then is the Yobe INEC REC not being tried yet? Why has he not been charged to court?

“If the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is foot-dragging on the arraignment of the INEC REC and the governor’s ADC, why hasn’t President Buhari directed the Police to commence the prosecution?

“In the spirit of President Buhari’s fight against corruption, the Yobe State INEC REC and the ADC that paid the bribe into his bank accounts should be charged to court without further delay. This is more so [considering] that there is credible evidence lending credence to the fact that the REC actually took bribes to influence the Yobe election.

“This is also important so as to further sanitise the electoral system for more credible elections.

“Anything other than this will mean that the President’s anti-corruption fight is only against some people while others, especially those related to the President either by tribe, religion or political party are sacred cows.”

(Wole Balogun, DAILY SUN)

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