The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has begun the arraignment of electoral officials who received bribes from the $115m allegedly disbursed by Diezani-Madueke, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources.
According to news reports, the commission is set to charge over 100 electoral officials for purportedly receiving monies under investigation from the former minister during the countdown to the 2015 general elections. The acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu and the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu would be meeting in Abuja to finalize the charges that would be filed against the suspects.
In reacting to the trial, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL have asserted that electoral crimes serve as precursors for corruption in the governance. The Executive Chairman of the Coalition, Mr. Debo Adeniran commented on the happenings saying, “from these reports, it can be easily deduced that Nigeria’s democracy is regularly put up for auction to the highest bidder.”
He added that, “any electoral official that perpetrates political corruption, which usually leads to the throwing up corrupt government are culpable in the helping looters to the corridors of power. They easily put up the mandate of the people up for sale. For years, Nigerians have remained victims of bad leadership which has a strong linkage to failures and corrupt practices perpetrated by electoral officials mostly during elections.”
”We commend the EFCC for not leaving any stone unturned in their investigations while also calling for the prosecution of Diezani-Madueke, and every other electoral official that took the bribe. In the same vein, we are urging the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to begin a review of the electoral commission in order to come up with ingenious protocols to forestall or eradicate any corrupt tendencies in subsequent elections. If we do not cleanse our government and electoral process from corrupt elements then our government would inevitably become a den for thieves.”
He concluded stating that, “the anti-graft agency and the electoral commission should continue to publish the names of all officials who received bribes so that Nigerians can continue to identify them as the dishonest lots who sold the peoples’ mandate to the highest bidder. We call on the government to cleanse the electoral system to forestall corruption in governance.”