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Ahead of fresh elections in Rivers State, ordered by the tribunals and Courts of Appeal in Abuja, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, has ordered the transfer of top officials of the commission in the state.
The affected officials include
the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dame Gesila Khan, and other senior officers of the commission, who allegedly compromised the processes during the March 28 and April 11 elections in favour of the PDP.
It was learnt last night that some top officials of INEC at the Rivers State headquarters in Port Harcourt got their transfer letters on Friday from Abuja; others would get theirs today.
Prof Yakubu was said to be saddened by what a source called the embarrassing revelations from the tribunals and Courts of Appeal on the sham and massively-rigged elections in Rivers State and other parts of the country.
The INEC chairman was said to have deemed it necessary to make the mass transfer.
The massive nullification of the “victories” of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) candidates in the state, sources said, angered Governor Nyesom Wike, a former Minister of State for Education.
A top INEC official in Rivers State, who testified at the tribunal, was described as an “S.U.” or born again Christian.
The alleged rigging by the PDP was said to have made the party to “win” the governorship and three senatorial seats as well as all the 13 seats in the House of Representatives and 31 of the 32 seats in the House of Assembly.
Josiah Olu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) won the Eleme Constituency’s seat in the House of Assembly.
Dame Khan denied any wrongdoing during the elections when she spoke on phone yesterday with our reporter.
The REC noted that transfers in the civil service were routine, adding that at the close of work on Friday, she had not received any transfer letter.
Dame Khan said: “Do not mind them. They are telling lies against me. It is part of the propaganda of the APC to discredit me. I did not collect money from any politician and I did not share money to or with anybody.
“I was transferred to Bayelsa State from Delta State on January 5, 2015 and I put in my best before, during and after the general elections. Those abusing and lying against me should ask about me in Delta State, where I also put in my best.