Bauchi By-election: EFCC Harass Gov’s Aide over Alleged Vote Buying
By Bashir Hassan Abubakar
There was a mild drama in Dass Local Government Area of Bauchi today during the conduct of by-elections into the state legislature when a combined team of EFCC, DSS and ICPC operatives swopped on the Special adviser to Governor Bala Mohammed on Labour Mr. Abdon Dalla Gin over alleged vote buying.
The incident happened immediately after the Governor’s aide casted his vote, granted an interview to journalists and was about to leave amidst cheers by party supporters, when suddenly operatives of EFCC blocked his car that was parked about 50 meters away from the polling unit and asked him to alight from the vehicle.
According to our correspondent, who was an eyewitness, Mr. Din did not argue with the operatives, but alighted and they asked him to hand over the keys of the vehicle, seized his phone and conducted a search inside his vehicle.
After the search, the operatives discovered unspecified amount of money and thereafter one of the operatives and another were instructed by their superior officer to drive the vehicle, with Mr. Gin in the back seat and took him to the divisional police station and had him detained without any charges.
Immediately after the incident, which happened in front of journalists that were monitoring the conduct of the election, the police station was besiege by party supporters and journalists who were curious to see the outcome of the saga that led to the detention of the high calibre personality.
Our correspondent also observed that the incident attracted the attention of the state commissioner of police, Lawal Tanko Jimeta who came personally to police station.
Speaking with newsmen at the premises of the station, the police boss said that one cannot be accused of vote buying simply because money is found in one’s vehicle.
“The case of vote buying can only be establish when one is actually seen sharing money at a polling station during elections”.
Also speaking to journalists shortly after Mr Gin was released , a member of the legal team of the state Peoples Democratic Party, Barrister Mukhtar Abubakar said that the money found in the car of Mr. Gin was about 500,000.00 which according to him, cannot be established that it was meant for vote buying.
He further said that the party is ready to counter any charges should the EFCC decides to take the case to court.
Our correspondent was informed by some party stalwarts and political observers that the entire saga was a set up, meant to tarnish the hard earned reputation of Mr. Gin who is believed to be a respected personality that rose to the highest position of an Head of Service in the Bauchi State Government before retiring and appointed as adviser on Labour matters by the present administration of Senator Bala Mohammed.