Less than two weeks after the conclusion of the 2015 general election in Abia State, two employees of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are now with the police answering questions over their alleged attempt to remove seven card readers from the state headquarters of the electoral body.
Abia State INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Professor Selina Oko, who confirmed to journalists the involvement of her staff in the card reader scandal, said she had handed them over to the police for investigation.
“I only learnt about the incident today. I was told there was a vehicle belonging to one of our staff which had sensitive materials, and I found out it was true,” she said, adding that she did not authorise the removal of such sensitive materials.
“In fact the long and short of it is that I have handed them over to the police,” the REC said.
Prof. Oko named the suspects as Nnamdi Nwabuko and Herbert Ejiofor, who heads the information communications technology (ICT) section of the body in the state.
The suspects are said to be answering questions with the police detectives at Zone 9 headquarters Umuahia.
She explained that Ejiofor was being quizzed by the police since the prime suspect, Nwabuko, is his subordinate in the ICT department.
Oko vehemently condemned the action of her staff, saying that luck ran out on them when the police at the INEC gate intercepted the Toyota Camry car belonging to her staff and discovered the card readers inside the boot of the vehicle.
“If they had sought my approval I wouldn’t have approved it. All I did was to go to his car and started asking him why were you doing that? And he said he was going to work with it. And I asked him, without my permission,” she said.
Prof. Oko urged the police to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident, adding that she would cooperate with the security agents if they needed further information from her.