Department of State Services (DSS) yesterday arraigned two employees of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Monday Ifiesimama and Beesor Sorle, before a Chief Magistrate’s Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State for alleged electoral offences.
Another man, Darlington Ogolo, was also arraigned alongside the INEC officials.
Ifiesimama and Sorle were accused of attempting to steal 3,097 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and selling them to Ogolo, whose identity was still under investigation.
Ogolo, on his part, was accused of bribing Ifiesimama and Sorle with N300,000 and N120,000 respectively as payment for the PVCs.
The accused, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), are facing an eight-count charge of conspiracy, bribery, theft and fraud in suit number PHC/313C/19.
The prosecution counsel, Mr. Calistus Eze, said the accused allegedly committed the offences between May and August 2018.
He said their acts contravened Sections 98 (4) (1) and (A) (1) of the Criminal Code Law of Rivers State.
He said the offences also violated Section 120 (1) (d) and Section 117 (1) (e) of the Electoral Act 2010.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the allegations.
Chief Magistrate S. D. Andrew-Jaja, however, admitted the three accused to bail in the sum of N100,000 each with a surety each in like sum.
Andrew-Jaja ordered that the sureties must be civil servants on not less than Grade Level 12 in Rivers State Civil Service.
He, thereafter, adjoined the matter till February 20, for hearing.
In another development, the DSS arraigned a 25-year-old man, Philemon Lawrence, who allegedly paraded himself as INEC official.
Lawrence was accused of defrauding unsuspecting members of the public after promising his victims jobs as INEC ad hoc staff.
The DSS alleged that the accused collected N3,800 each from members of the public after advertising his bank account online.
He was charged on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy, impersonation and fraud.
Andrew-Jaja also admitted him to bail in the sum of N300,000 with a surety in like sum.
The chief magistrate adjourned the case till February 19, for further hearing.