CONTRARY to insinuations, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, did not stop the recall of Dino Melaye (Kogi West), chairman of the Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, because of the plan to probe the tenure of probe its chairman, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu at the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFUND.
Realnews had reported last week Monday that Mike Ozekhome, counsel to Melaye served INEC with the court injunction restraining it from going ahead with the recall process pending the determination of the substantive suit slated for September. It was also gathered that INEC had even petitioned Walter Onnoghen, chief justice of Nigeria, to intervene in the ruling of the court, bearing in mind that the constitution allows for only 90 days from the date of submission of the petition for the case to be concluded.
“INEC will commence the recall process immediately it gets a reprieve from the Court of Appeal and allow the people the opportunity for their voice to be heard. Mahmoud, who is currently in Liberia on official assignment is not bothered about the Senate probe and it is not in any way influencing his decisions, role and activities as the chairman of Nigeria’s election umpire,” a source said.
“INEC as a law-abiding agency is under obligation to obey orders of Court even when the commission is not comfortable with such orders or until such orders are upturned on appeal.”
The commission has also instructed its lawyers to approach the Supreme Court with the target of immediately vacating the order.
Sources in the Senate have, however, hinted that the information leading to the motion to probe Tetfund already had specific companies mentioned and specific projects, adding that the contracts were not awarded under Yakubu who left office in 2012.
“All the targeted contracts were awarded by Prof. Suleiman R and the current executive secretary Dr. Abdullahi Baffa”, the source said.
It was learnt that some staff of TETFUND who were not happy with the handling of the award of contracts by Prof Suleiman Bogoro gave out the information.
They alleged that TETFUND which was reputed for not having any abandoned projects prior to Bogoro’s appointment suddenly had abandoned projects littered everywhere while payments were made above the threshold and against the TETFUND model which ensured that monies were only paid according to work done.
— Jul 17, 2017 @ 117:40 GMT