The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has dismissed two of its officers for alleged theft and burglary of permanent voter cards (PVCs) at its Patani local government area office in Delta state.
The dismissed officers are Collins Omofoma (SGL 09 Officer) and Onome Avbunudiogba (SGL 07 Officer).
Also, the commission has terminated the appointment of Obi Chinwoke Ugochi, an administrative officer II (SGL 08), for alleged absence from duty without leave. Ugochi is of the commission’s Anambra state office.
According to two decision extracts dated January 8, 2015, and signed by Ishiaku A Gali, the director (commission’s secretariat), the dismissal and termination of the three staff followed the commission’s meeting on January 8,2015.
Speaking with TheCable, Nick Dazang, head, media and publicity of INEC, said the sacking of the staff followed a thorough process and it was a signal to the public on the determination of the commission to conduct free and fair elections next month.”When something like that happens, it will go through a process,” he said.
“A disciplinary committee will be set up. And certainly If it is burglary, they must have been caught by security officers in the office. Then it will go through the state commission to the headquarters. It is a very thorough process.
“The idea of putting it in the public domain is to send a signal to our staff and stakeholders that if you do not behave well, you will be dealt with. It is also to show Nigerians how serious we are about PVCS and even if our staff misbehave, we will not hesitate to sack them.”
The subject of PVCs continue to dominate the headlines ahead of the election.
On January 7, the Department of State Security (DSS) accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of cloning PVCs with intent to hack into INEC database, corrupt it and replace it with the party’s data.
APC, though, denied the accusation, branding a hogwash and saying the move was “disingenuous, flimsy, premeditated, partisan and irritating”.
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