From IFEOMA OKAFOR, Awka
Some of the adhoc staff members recruited by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the November 6, 2021 governorship election in Anambra State have disappeared with some of the sensitive materials used in that poll, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji has disclosed.
Speaking earlier today at a press conference held at the commission’s headquarters in Awka, the Anambra State capital, Orji lamented that most of the items which were not returned by the adhoc staffers were majorly the components of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).
Saying that the Commission had placed embargo on the allowances of the fleeing workers and would only pay them when they returned the items they allegedly made away with, Orji said: “They are mostly the components of BVAS including things like scanners, power banks, cables and other accessories. These are some of the things that are missing.
“We have carefully documented these accessories. We know whom we issued them to because they go to the Polling Units (PUs). We know who is responsible for them at the PUs and we have been in touch with these individuals…
“Some of them have started returning them. We have a number of cases that have returned. And once they have returned them, we lift the embargo we have placed on the payment of their allowances.”
Asked the stats of the items not returned, the REC said: “I don’t have the number of the missing items right now but they’re in the neighbourhood of 100s.”
“Remember that we distributed nearly 6,000 of these devices during the election but the ones that are missing are in the neighbourhood of 100s.”
“The commission urges the general public, and particularly, those that serve as ad hoc staff, to see the commission’s property as national asset, and therefore, treat them with utmost care and a sense of responsibility,” Orji cautioned.