A total of N360 million may have been doled out to INEC officials in 2016 to guarantee the victory of PDP in Rivers State.

This information is contained in a brief received by an Ad hoc Committee of the House of Representatives on assessment and status of movable and immovable loot recovered from 2002 to 2020.

A Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Joseph Egbonike who disclosed this to lawmakers Tuesday hinted that  out of the sum invested by Wike on INEC officials as bribe,  about N114,290 000 million has been recovered.

According to Egbonike, the money was spent on 23 INEC officials who were drafted from Plateau, Anambra and Oyo states to conduct bye-elections in Rivers in 2006.

Recall that a recording obtained by security officials at the time showed that threats were issued to INEC officials posted to the Rivers State by Governor Nyesom Wike.

He had been  heard in an audio recording threatening to kill INEC officials if after settling them, they did anything to betray him.

The officer who affirmed the findings of the police under cross examination  explained that the actual sum offered to the electoral officials as bribecto undermine the process was N360 million.

But he said the police could not recover all the money which was allegedly funneled into the hands of the 23 ‘wise men’ from INEC  who were involved in the deal to steal the elections on behalf of the PDP and Governor Nyesom Wike in 2016.

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“There was a governorship rerun in 2016 between Governor Nyeaom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the main opposition at that time, which was the All Progressives Congress (APC)”, Egbonike said under oath.

“And the sum of N360 million money was offered as bribe to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials during the 2016 rerun governorship election in Rivers State”, the police officer further disclosed.

Responding to a number of questions thrown at him by members of the Panel, the DIG revealed that the matter was dragged to Court after the police concluded their investigation into the matter.

Egbonike hinted that the accused have been prosecuted at the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, but he said there was an appeal entered against the judgement delivered in favour of the prosecution.

“The said matter is still in court and I wouldn’t want to speak much on it, but the said amount you are referring to was recovered from 23 officials of INEC during the 2016 rerun elections of the National and State Assembly which was rigged in favour of PDP.

“Although, the persons involved have been prosecuted and convicted, the matter has been appealed and not dispensed”, the officer stressed.

Part of the Police report presented to the House Committee read: “On 10th December 2016, during the National and State Assembly rerun elections in Rivers State, efforts were put to rig the said election through inducement, bribery and intimidation of electoral officials, as the sum of three hundred and sixty million naira (N360, 000,000.00) was given by governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, to twenty three (23) electoral officials, deployed to Rivers State from Anambra, Oyo and Plateau States, to compromise and influence the outcome of the election.

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“Consequently, on receipt of the intelligence, our investigation panel under the IGP Monitoring unit was set up, following which the sum of 114 million, two hundred and ninety thousand (114, 290, 000.00) was recovered from the 23 INEC officials and deposited into the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“Account Name: IGP Special Joint Investigation Panel on Rivers Re-run Election of 10/12/2016 with Remita Retrieval Reference number 3401-58076328.

“Details of payment and breakdown of the recovery are attached here. Appendix ‘C&C1-Summary of recovery from 23 INEC Officials

“C2-Payment slips into CBN Account Zenith Bank with Remita Retrieve reference number 3401-5807-6328.

“All suspects are being prosecuted before the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, River State by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Federation”.