As the EFCC intensify investigations into the $115 million allegedly disbursed by former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, 11 officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Gombe State have confessed to receiving N120 million from the money.
The 11 officials supervised the 2015 general elections in the state.
Sources at the EFCC said on Friday that the 11 officials had been interrogated and had made confessional statements, adding that the electoral officers, who were in charge of the 11 local government areas of Gombe State, reported at the Gombe State zonal office of the commission on Thursday.
An EFCC detective said: “They have made useful statements and most of them have confessed to receiving millions of naira for their respective local government. They explained that two out of the 11 officials negotiated and collected the bribe on their behalf.
“The electoral officer for Akko Local Government Area and the one in charge of Gombe Local Government Area, Ahmed Ali Biu, and Mohammed Zannah, admitted to have collected the bribe from one Yunusa Biri, also a retired electoral officer who acted as Gombe State coordinator of bribes for electoral officers in the state.
“Biri was known and addressed as the coordinator of NGO, a code name used to cover the activities of the two parties.”
According to the source, the parties agreed to share the bribe per polling unit in each local government and part of the bribe should go to ad hoc employees deployed to each polling station across the state.
He however said there were some issues with the investigation as some of the electoral officers claim they were cheated of their own share of the money.
He said: “Investigations are ongoing but the challenge is that we will have to unravel the discrepancy in the amount collected and the actual money disbursed to the electoral officers.
“Some claimed that the coordinator (Biri) short-changed them because he gave only N8m to the eleven local governments in the state.”
Some of the electoral officers currently under detention in the state are Godwin Maiyaki, Gambo Balanga, Bukar Benisheik, Dukku, Jibril Muhammed, Billiri, Dunguma Dogona, Funakaye, Mohammed Wanka, Kaltungo, Ishaku Yusuf, Kwami, Suleiman Isawa, Babagana Malami, Shongom, and Nuhu Samuel.
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