The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has continued to deepen subtle intimidation of the Opposition in the country. The Sokoto Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) sustaining the intimidation arrested some INEC officials in Zamfara State which the All Progressives Congress (APC) lost to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections.
A statement by the EFCC indicated that the INEC officials arrested in Zamfara State include Hassan Sidi Aliyu, Administrative Secretary; Hussain Jafar Head of Operations; Abdullahi Yusuf Abubakar, State Accountant; and Abdulmumin Usman. They are being accused of conspiracy, breach of trust and criminal diversion of Ad Hoc staff allowance to the tune of N84, 696,000.
It was indicated that the petitioner, Abdullahi Nasiru, who was said to have claimed to have written on behalf of all presiding officers that worked for INEC during the 2019 presidential and gubernatorial elections in Zamfara State, alleged that the Adhoc staff were denied payment of their N6,000 movement allowance each for the two elections.
He further alleged that what the Commission paid to them was different from what other states paid their Adhoc staff.
The Commission allegedly paid its staff the sum of N9000 in Zamfara while in other states like Sokoto State, the commission paid N12000 EFCC claimed.
It was indicated that investigation by the EFCC revealed that none of the 10,500 presiding officers who participated in the elections were paid their entitlements commutatively put at N84, 696,000.
The statement by Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC Head, Media and Publicity, indicated that effort is being made by the Commission 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; Muhammad Nasir Saidu, Talatu Mafara LGA; Abdullahi A. Ukashatu, Tsafe LGA; Tukur Garba Kaita, Bungudu LGA; Salihu Musa Abdullahi, Bukuyun LGA; Sadiq Abdullahi, Fari Anka LGA; Lawali Muhammed, Argungu Bakura LGA; Jafaru Gide, Shinkafi LGA; Tanimu Muhammad, Shinkafi LGA; Hassan Abdullahi,Shinkafi LGA.
EFCC said the suspects would be arraigned in court as soon as investigation is completed.