By Ben Agande
AÂ tussles between the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Maurice Iwu,Â and one of his national commissioners has polarized employees of the commission withÂ the national commissioner threatening to expose alleged sleazy deals in the electoral body.Â At the heart of the crisis is the allegation by theÂ leadership of the commission thatÂ classified information was being leaked to the press by one of the commissioners allegedly â€œfor pecuniary interests.â€
In a series of stories carried last week by someÂ newspapers, it was alleged that the unnamed national commissioner took advantage of his â€œclose relationship with the mediaâ€ to leak sensitive and classified information for pecuniary interests.
But in his reaction to the stories which did not name the commissioner allegedly involved in the act, the national commissioner in charge of the publicity of the commission, MrÂ Philip Umeadi Jnr, warned that unless such â€œunprovokedâ€ attack on his person ceased, he would be left with no option but to give a â€œcomprehensive reactionâ€.
According to him, though he was not mentioned by name, the publication â€œwas not so discreet in its description leaving nothing to imagination as to its intended target. Me. â€œObviously, these people are aware that my position in INEC clearly exposes me to matters and evidence that I can appropriately describe as secret.
I hope I have heard the last from them because as IÂ Â very well know, there is no statutory limitation to crime. Whilst I will not engage in mudslinging, for reasons that are pretty much obvious, I can promise, and I so do, a comprehensive reaction if prodded any furtherâ€.
Sunday Vanguard gathered that following the publication of the national commissionerâ€™s reaction, there is a growing disquiet in INEC as staffers are divided between the national commissioner and the chairman.