Ripples over N600 million bribe allegation against Rivers REC
The N600 million bribe allegations against the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Rivers State, Mrs. Gesila Khan is now causing ripples in the states with the All Progressives Congress (APC) which made the allegations wondering why no action is being taken on the allegation.
In the countdown to the general elections in which the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), trounced the ruling APC with a wide margin, the APC had petitioned chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) that PDP bribed INEC REC in Rivers State with a sum of N600 million to buy its victory.
But since the submission of petition, the APC is pained that the commission has not done anything to investigate the veracity or otherwise of the allegation.
Indeed, the party was taken aback when INEC again allowed the REC to conduct the rescheduled elections fixed for April 25 despite the pending allegations against her.
Accordingly, the party has again appealed to the Chairman of INEC, Prof. AttahiruJega, to, as a matter of urgency and in the interest of the public, investigate the Commission’s REC in Rivers State, Mrs. Gesila Khan, over allegations that she received a N600 million bribe from the PDP, in the state. The investigation, APC argued, will help INEC determine the level of rot Mrs. Khan has superintended as INEC Boss in Rivers State.
In a statement in Port Harcourt signed by Chief Davies IbiamuIkanya, APC Chairman in the state, the party argued that the allegation alone is sufficient to disqualify Mrs. Khan from holding such a sensitive public office, or, in fact, any other office of trust.
“Mrs. Khan ought to have resigned her appointment long-time ago when it became obvious to her that she lacked the confidence of the APC, and other political parties in Rivers State in her dealings as the electoral supervisor for INEC in Rivers State. If for no other reason Mrs. Khan ought to have cared enough about Nigeria to resign her appointment in order to preserve the integrity of the electoral processes in Rivers State as well as their outcome”, APC said.
Mrs. Khan, APC alleged is an indisputable hatchet-man for PDP in Rivers state, and is obviously blinded by the ungodly gift from an interested party in the general elections in the state.
According to APC, in outright contravention of her oath of office, Mrs. Khan has played partisanship and allegiance to PDP while displaying hostility to the APC, and its governorship candidate as well as openly disparaging APC.
Besides, according to APC, “Mrs. Khan has invented every tactic in hell to frustrate the APC from obtaining necessary and relevant, statutory Certified True Copies, CTCs, of electoral materials to use in her petition to the Election Petition Tribunal aware of the time-bound status of election petition matters.
The APC said if she had no skeleton in her cupboard, why had she barred APC and her governorship candidate, Dr. DagogoPeterside, from obtaining the materials despite several letters and complaints?”
The APC further argued that justice will be grossly impaired if Mrs. Khan continued in her incumbent office while she faced an investigation saying that it would amount to being the investigator, judge and jury in her own case.
APC Rivers state challenged Prof. Jega to a moral test in the hope the allegation will not be swept under the carpet. “We challenge Jega to a moral test, how he will sweep this one under the carpet. We challenge him to prove to the world that there is nothing “special” about Khan that is yet hidden from others.
The party expressed dismay that Prof. Jega had retained Mrs. Khan in Rivers State with the excess baggage on her head. “We wonder why Jega has allowed REC Khan to remain in Rivers State as she is an antithesis of democracy and asked her to stand aside as REC while investigations last as the practice worldwide.
The party called on Jega to take this step to reaffirm INEC’S stance as an impartial umpire and in justification of the testimonials of him as anhonourable man and an incorruptible judge in order not to allow Mrs. Khan soil his hard earned reputation. “And should Jega decline to investigate her, he would stand eternally accused of being an accessory after the fact of a democratic coup d’état”, the party stressed.