Alleged INEC staff bribe: Judge moves case to Port Harcourt
An Abuja Federal High Court has transferred the case files of 23 staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, accused of allegedly collecting N360m bribe from the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike during the December 10 re-run election in the state to its Port Harcourt Division.
The Justice John Tsoho-led court made the pronouncement while ruling on the notice of preliminary objection filed by the electoral officers challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case in Abuja.
Justice Tosho held that the charges ought to be filed in Port Harcourt, where the alleged offences were committed.
Noting that the prosecution failed to provide any cogent evidence of insecurity in Port Harcourt to justify the filing of the charges in Abuja, the judge held that the impression created by the prosecution that there was “pervasive insecurity” and that the city had become ungovernable, was not backed with any evidence.
Tsoho also held that the “frightening pictures” attached to the prosecution’s counter-affidavit had no proof of location and time of the incidents.
Consequently, justice Tsoho ordered the transfer of the case to Port Harcourt Division of the court for arraignment of the accused INEC officials.