The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it would neither succumb to intimidation nor be arm-twisted into paying impostors who claimed to have worked for the commission during the 2019 general elections.
The commission, which was reacting to the protest embarked upon by some in Enugu state over alleged unpaid allowances, warned impostors to desist from such acts.
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Emeka Ononammadu, in a swift reaction said: “We are paying our Ad-hoc staff after thorough verification. Nonpayment of genuine ad hoc staff is history in INEC because payment of this nature is done through Central Bank electronic platform, a measure approved by INEC to forestall nonpayment of those who worked.
“When we inquired on the details of few of the protesters, we discovered that majority of them are those INEC did not originally posted to where they claimed they have worked and there is no documentation either in our posting list to support their claims.”
Accordingly, he said most of them could not have been posted when they were not either youth corps members, students of federal tertiary institutions or staff of federal ministries, agencies and departments.
Further, he said: “We strongly suspect that the protesters were hired by those who want to rubbish our excellent record and put us in more troubles by putting up pressure for us to pay the wrong persons which will prevent us from paying the right ad-hoc staff.
“As at the time of their gathering, INEC has almost completed the payment of ad-hoc staff. What was left was the handling of those whose bank accounts were not correct or those whose name did not match the bank account submitted to INEC. Since four weeks, we have made telephone call to over four thousand ad-hoc staff to get their correct bank accounts.
“It is, therefore, unacceptable that those who did not work for us or those who could not write their bank details correctly can come to INEC, use padlock and lock up our gates, but all that was seen was that peaceful protesters were tear gassed.”