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2019 Elections: INEC probes officials in Bayelsa Office, redeploys Admin Secretary

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

A joint investigation into the activities of some officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)  involved in the 2019 general elections in Bayelsa is underway.

It was learnt that the investigation by security agencies in collaboration with INEC National headquarters has resulted in the shakeup and redeployment of affected officers at the INEC Office in Bayelsa.

The investigation is sequel to various petitions by aggrieved candidates and political parties in the 2019 general elections alleging that officials of INEC in Bayelsa especially the Administrative Secretary worked for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), deploying known party members to work as returning officers in the polls.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Monday Tom Udoh, was interrogated by the Police and subsequently summoned to INEC headquarters in Abuja.

The Administrative Secretary of INEC Bayelsa State office, Mr. Lebari Nduh has been redeployed to the headquarters of the Commission in Abuja as a result of the ongoing probe.

Reports have it that following the stigma associated with the role he played in the elections the Admin Sec is presently ‘floating’ as the Training Department where he was deployed to rejected him.

It was also alleged that Nduh concocted a false report against available evidence claiming that Presidential and National Assembly Elections did not hold in Nembe Bassambiri seven wards where the All Progressives Congress (APC) recorded wide margins.

Nduh allegedly got another officer in the ICT Unit to sign the undated report and availed same to the PDP to file before the elections petitions tribunal without recourse to the REC.

INEC office in Bayelsa in a statement signed by the Head of Department Voter Education/Publicity,Mr Wilfred Ifogah confirmed that officials of the Commission who participated in the 2019 polls are being investigated.

He dismissed media reports that the REC, and other staff were arrested by the police.

He however confirmed that officers from the Nigerian Police were around to gather useful information  from the REC and some staff  of INEC in Bayelsa who participated in the 2019 polls.

Although Nduh declined to comment on the allegations on the grounds that it would jeopardize ongoing investigations, he confirmed in a text message that he has been redeployed to Abuja.

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