Saturday, June 22, 2024

Anambra poll: Group demands sack of INEC REC, national commissioner over alleged $4m bribery

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via ibroramalan@gmail.com, or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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Again, the Save Nigeria Movement, SNM, has alleged that there is an ongoing plot by top officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to rig this weekend’s Anambra governorship poll in favour of Prof. Charles Soludo of the All progressive grand alliance, APGA.

Addressing a press conference on Monday in Abuja, the SNM convener, Solomon Semaka alleged that the INEC national commissioner in charge of logistics, Prof. Okey Ibeanu and the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Dr Nwachukwu Orji are masterminds of the alleged plot.

The group expressed concern that the duo has not been questioned over their alleged involvement in a $4 million bribery scandal as part of attempt to compromise the Anambra election in favour of APGA.

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The statement said: “Based on media reports, we quickly identified Gov Obiano and Prof Okey Ibeanu as those responsible for plans to truncate our democracy.

“Weeks after we called for the sack or suspension of Prof Ibeanu from INEC, it is disheartening to note that he is still in the Commission playing very unsavoury roles aimed at compromising the process.

“Just this weekend, Prof Ibeanu travelled to Awka to mobilise support for his paymaster. We understand that the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Nwachukwu Orji was his research assistant at UNN where he first helped him secure employment and later appointed REC. This means that the REC is at the beck and call of the Prof.

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“The attention of the public and indeed all stakeholders is once again drawn to the unprofessional conduct of Ibeanu and his determination to not only skew the process in favour of Obiano but use his office to stampede the REC and the LG electoral officers do his bidding. Information at our disposal also revealed that the Prof has collected more funds and was in Anambra State during the weekend to distribute same.

“While security agencies and INEC are yet to commence the investigation of the Professor, we demand that such enquiry is begun immediately.”

The group, therefore, demanded the immediate probe and suspension of Mr Ibeanu insisting that no sensitive duty must be assigned to him in the entire period of the Anambra Governorship election considering his alleged compromised dispositions.

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The group also called on all NGOs and critical stakeholders to look into the allegations against MrIbeanu and advise him to recuse himself from the election in Anambra State.

“We make these demands believing that appropriate agencies will rise to the occasion and do the needful. Professor Ibeanu has become a ticking bomb.

“Let all men and women of good conscience diffuse now before he explodes on everyone. A stitch in time saves nine. To be before warned is to be before harmed,” the group added.

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