ABUJA (Ministry of Justice Report) – The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has dragged two officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to the Federal High Court, Abuja on a five count charge of electoral malpractices in the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections, held in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo state.
This was contained in a press statement made available to the Press and Public Relations Unit of the Ministry, from the Chamber oof the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, by Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, Special Adviser to the AGF on Media and Publicity, on Monday, May 20th, 2019 in Abuja.
It said the Federal Government slammed the charges against the defendants pursuant to Sections 104 and 379 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
Isah revealed the names of the culprits as, Sulaiman Ikhuoriah, male, 36 years old and Olugbenga Omotiloye, 50 years old, who served as Collation officer and Electoral officer respectively, for Ward 6 in Saint Maria Gorreti Secondary School, Benin City, Edo State. They were said to have falsified results in favour 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 AGF, they committed the offence in their capacity as electoral officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission 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 Honourable court.
They were alleged to have received an amount as bribe to deliver the ward and procure the return of the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate in the House of Representatives elections for Egor/Ikpoba-Okha Federal Constituency, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 124 (b) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
A case summary deposed to by Magaji Labaran stated that the defendants who acted in breach of their official duties, “were invited for interview on the 27th day of February, 2019 and 5th day of March, 2019 following a petition by the member representing Egor/Ikpoba-Okha Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, E.J. Agbonayinma (Hon.).
The suspects made voluntary statements under caution and admitted collecting the sum of N100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) only from Ise-Idehen (Hon.), as appreciation. My Lord, during the trial, the prosecution shall lead evidence to prove the guilt of the defendant based on credible and undisputed facts”.