– Four ex-officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) indicted in 2015 are still in court
– The court has ordered temporary forfeiture of N387 million allegedly found in their bank accounts to the Federal Government
– The order followed granting of an ex-parte motion filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
A report by New Telegraph indicates that Justice Muslim Sule Hassan of a Federal High Court, Lagos, on Monday, July 23, ordered temporary forfeiture of N387 million allegedly found in bank accounts of four ex-officials of INEC to the Federal Government
According to the report, the order followed granting of an ex-parte motion filed by the EFCC pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, No. 14, 2004.
It was unclear gathered that the former electoral officers, namely; Gabriel Oke, Victor Chukwuani, Okesiji Adeniran and Torgba Nyitse, were joined as co-respondents in the motion.
Arguing the motion, EFCC’s lawyer, Nnaemeka Omewa, said it would be in the interest of justice for the temporary forfeiture order to be made.
Justice Hassan consequently granted the request, while he also gave anyone interested in the forfeited sum, a window of two weeks to show up in court and explain why he should not order a permanent forfeiture of the money to the government.
Accordingly, further hearing in the matter had been adjourned to Monday, August 6.
In an affidavit attached to the motion, an EFCC’s investigator, Usman Zakari, said the ex-INEC officials benefitted from the N23billion allegedly shared by a former minister, to influence the outcome of the 2015 general election.
He alleged that they received the money through a non-governmental organisation which they formed to purportedly monitor the 2015 general election.
He further claimed that a former INEC chairman, Professor Maurice Iwu, was the national coordinator of the organisation.
“After the conduct of the 2015 presidential election and in order to conceal the sources of the money collected by Ogun, Osun and Oyo states, the remainder of the money was fraudulently laundered,” he said.
He added that the EFCC had since recovered N387 million out of the N510 million from the four ex-INEC officials.
Similarly, the Gombe state zonal office of the EFCC on Wednesday, March 7, arraigned three INEC officials in court over N163.9 million election bribe.
Dr Godwin Kwanga, former Plateau state resident electoral commissioner; Usman Baba Bukar, former INEC administrative secretary in Plateau state and Jonathan Azi Nyako, a retired INEC staff, were arraigned before Justice C. L. Dabup of Plateau state High Court.
The trio were arraigned on two count charge bordering on conspiracy and bribery.