INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, says the commission is working closely with the EFCC to sanitise the electoral body.He warns politicians to desist from campaigning as the ban on campaigns has not yet been lifted Yakubu urges political aspirants to wait for the time table of the elections Some officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) may be arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as the anti-graft agency has started investigating the commission’s officials in 20 states over alleged electoral fraud.
The ongoing investigation was made known by the chairman of the commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, during a quarterly consultative meeting with journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, October 3.The INEC boss said the recent investigation was in addition to the prosecution and probe of 205 of its officials for allegedly receiving part of the N23bn reportedly disbursed by a former minister of petroleum resources, Diezani-Allison Madueke. Yakubu stated that the commission was working closely with the EFCC to ensure that it does everything necessary to do away with corrupt official in INEC. He said: “I want to say that this is the first time in the history of our elections that in one fell swoop, 205 officials were disciplined based on the interim report we received from the EFCC covering 16 states. “Under the terms and conditions of service what we can do is to interdict them which means placing them on half salary and suspending them from work until their innocence or guilt is established. The last report covered 16 states and only last week I heard they had started prosecuting them, “However, after receiving the report, we had a discussion with the EFCC and told them that for the outstanding 20 states, they should not submit any interim report to INEC but just prosecute them. “Once they are taken to court, we activate the provisions of the terms and conditions of service. Whatever we need to do we will do even if it means getting rid of everybody in the commission and recruiting afresh for the purpose of the 2019 elections. We are committed to doing so.” Meanwhile, ahead of the 2019 general elections, politicians have been warned by Mahmood Yakubu, to desist from campaigning, as the ban on campaigns has not yet been lifted. He said the commission had not released the schedule of activities for the elections. The INEC boss urged politicians to wait for the time table of the elections.