Two officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have been dragged to a Federal High Court in Abuja on a five count charge of electoral fraud by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
In a press statement from the Chamber of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Special Adviser to the AGF on Media and Publicity, Comrade Salihu Othman Isah stated that the Federal Government slammed the charges against the defendants pursuant to Sections 104 and 379 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015. Comrade Isah revealed the names of the culprits as Sulaiman Ikhuoriah, male, 36 years old of No.13 Aisosa Street, Off Okhoro Road, Benin City who served as Collation Officer for Ward 6 in Saint Maria Gorreti Secondary School, and Olugbenga Omotiloye, male, 50 years old of Plot 1, Longe Street, Okoh Central, Benin City, Edo State were accused to have falsified results in favor of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate against the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate.
He disclosed that according to the charges filed by Magaji Labaran, a Principal State Counsel in the Department of Public Prosecution of the Federal Ministry of Justice, on behalf of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the accused persons committed the offence in their capacity as electoral officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on and around the 23rd day of February, 2019 during the Presidential and National Assembly polls in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of the state which is within the jurisdiction of the honorable court.
They were alleged to have conspired among themselves and with others now at large and upon receipt of an offer to procure the return of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the House of Representatives elections for Egor/Ikpoba-Okha Federal Constituency in Edo State thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 123 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
Ikhuoriah was also alleged to without lawful excuse acted in breach of his official duty by placing a call to Honourable Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma and requested him through a telephone conversation for gratification for the purpose of delivering his ward to his party, the PDP during the elections. This he did erroneously thinking he was discussing with the PDP chairman, not knowing he was talking to Hon. Agbonyinma of All Progressive Congress (APC).
The Collation Officer is also accused to have received the sum of a hundred thousand naira (₦100,000) as bribe for delivering the ward for his supposed paymaster, the PDP candidate; which is an offence punishable under Section 124 (b) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).