The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL has called for the holistic probe of some INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) officials over the breach of trust and criminal diversion of the ad hoc staff allowance to the tune of N84,696,000 (Eighty-Four Million, Six Hundred and Ninety-Six Thousand Naira) fraud.

In a release issued by the Media and Publications Officer, Toyin Odofin on behalf of the anti-graft organization’s National Coordinator, Mr. Debo Adeniran he noted, “It was reported that Abdullahi Nasiru had written a petition to the EFCC on behalf of all presiding officers that worked for INEC during the 2019 presidential and governorship elections in Zamfara State, where the petitioner alleged that the ad hoc staff were each denied payment of their N6,000 movement allowance for the two elections. He further alleged that what INEC paid to them was different from what other states paid their ad hoc staff. Also, INEC allegedly paid its staff the sum of N9,000 in Zamfara, while INEC in other states such as Sokoto paid N12,000. All these shortfalls in payment were what accumulated to the said amount, i.e. N84,696,000.

The said INEC officials who diverted the allowance were; Administrative Secretary, Hassan Sidi Aliyu; Head of Operations, Hussain Jafar; State Accountant,  Abdullahi Yusuf Abubakar; and Abdulmumin Usman. The arrest of these commission officials was what led to the stormed of the EFCC at the state office of the commission, also the recovery of over N65mn stacked in two fireproof safes during a search conducted in offices of the HOD Accounts and Cashier of INEC in Zamfara State.

“Efforts are being made by EFCC to recover the money criminally diverted by the three 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.”

“Also, one begins to wonder why our electoral system continues to wobble and fumble with all the allowances to it from respective federal and state governments, year in year out. This is a confirmation of how such scarce resources simply vanish into thin air through syphoning of the larger proportion of sums budgeted and diversion of such finances.

The CACOL boss added “It is therefore incumbent on the two anti-graft agencies, the EFCC and ICPC (Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission) to sustain and further intensify their commendable efforts in nipping much of this illegal expropriation of our resources in the bud and recover the ill-acquired wealth as much as possible, with a view to plugging them back to their original purposes.”