The sentencing of two Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) staff to 21 years imprisonment for accepting monetary inducement to influence the 2015 presidential election in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is an obvious validation of the widely held belief that under the PDP, the rigging of elections was the order of the day.
According to the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO), the judgement by the Yola High Court, after it had established that the duo collected the bribe from Deziani Allison-Madueke, former Petroleum Minister, is another evidence that PDP is synonymous with electoral malfeasances.
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO noted that with this landmark judgement, PDP’s claim of conducting transparent and credible elections falls flat and cannot hold water as the Yola High Court convicted the INEC staff based on verified evidence of receiving the sum of N362 Million from the former minister.
“This was not only a flagrant violation of the Electoral Act but corruption writ large under the PDP and perpetrated with reckless abandon.
“Apart from the act of monetary inducement of INEC being a wholesale compromise of the electoral processes, dipping hands into the national coffers amounts to a crime against the Nigerian people. It is reprehensible and unacceptable for former minister of Petroleum Mrs Deziani Allison-Madueke to deviate from her responsibilities and influence electoral officers to rig election.
“We, therefore, commend the high court for exhibiting extraordinary courage in delivering the judgement and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for diligent prosecution of the two INEC officials who used their official positions to illegally enrich themselves.
“From the judgement, it is now crystal clear that under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, there is no hiding place for corrupt government officials, and any act of corruption will be visited with grievous consequences.