The Sokoto Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has confirmed that N65, 548, 000 (Sixty-five Million, Five Hundred and Forty-eight Thousand Naira) was recovered from office of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Zamfara State.
According to the statement released by EFCC, the money in higher denominations of Naira notes was recovered from two fireproof safes during a search in the offices of the head of Accounts and Cashier of INEC in the state.
The money was recovered after the anti-graft agency stormed the office on Wednesday, following a petition by an Adhoc staff of the electoral body, alleging that officials of the Commission illegally deducted part of the allowance due them for the last general election.
According to the complainant, INEC in Zamfara allegedly paid its ad hoc staff the sum of N9,000, while others in states like Sokoto were paid N12,000.
However, the recovered fund is suspected to be 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 few days ago, had arrested four officials of INEC in the state.
The officials are, Hassan Sidi Aliyu, Administrative Secretary, Hussain Jafar, Head of Operations, Abdullahi Yusuf Abubakar, State Accountant and the Cashier Labaran Ishaka, were picked for alleged conspiracy, breach of trust and criminal diversion of Ad hoc staff allowance to the tune of N84, 696,000 (Eighty Four Million, Six Hundred and Ninety Six Thousand Naira).
Investigation by the EFCC revealed that none of the 10,500 presiding officers who participated in the elections were paid their entitlements cumulatively put at N84, 696,000 (Eighty-Four Million, Six Hundred and Ninety-Six Thousand Naira).
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 LGA.
The investigation is still ongoing while efforts are being made to recover all the illegal deductions.