The Sokoto State Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday raided the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Zamfara State and recovered N65, 548, 000.
The money in higher denominations of naira notes was recovered from two fire proof safe during a search in the offices of the head of accounts and cashier of INEC in the state.
The anti-graft agency said operation was sequel to a petition by an ad hoc staff of the electoral body, alleging that officials of the commission illegally deducted part of the allowance due to them for the last general election. According to the complainant, while INEC in Zamfara allegedly paid its ad hoc staff the sum of N9, 000, others in states like Sokoto were paid N12, 000.
The recovered fund is suspected to have been part of the funds illegally deducted from releases meant to cater for the movement of materials and electoral officials as well as provision of chairs, tables and canopies for the 2019 governorship and presidential elections in the state
Before the raid, the commission had, some days back, arrested four officials of INEC in the state.
They were the administrative secretary, Mr. Hassan Sidi Aliyu, head of operations, Mr. Hussain Jafar, state accountant, Mr. Abdullahi Yusuf Abubakar, and the cashier, Mr. Labaran Ishaka , were earlier arrested for alleged conspiracy, breach of trust and criminal diversion of ad hoc staff allowance to the tune of N84.6 million.
Investigation by the EFCC revealed that none of the 10,500 presiding officers who participated in the elections was paid their entitlements commutatively put at N84, 696,000.
The 14 Electoral Officers of the state were also arrested. They are: 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; and Hassan Abdullahi,Shinkafi
The agency said investigation was still in progress while efforts were being made to recover all the illegal deductions.