By Innocent Anaba
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has filed a charge against John Demide and Sarah Ajibola before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, for allegedly conspiring to rig the 2018 elections of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA.
The defendants, according to the charge, are to face a 14-count cybercrime charge of allegedly conspiring to “knowingly alter the email addresses and phone numbers of 1,004 eligible voters of the NBA election with the intention that such inauthentic data will be acted upon as genuine during the said election.”
The allegedly rigged election saw Paul Usoro(SAN), emerge winner with 4,509 votes, defeating Arthur Okafor(SAN), who had 4,423 votes, and Professor Ernest Ojukwu(SAN), with 3,313 votes.
Both Okafor and Ojukwu rejected the result of the polls, claiming it was rigged.
According to the charge, the lawyers, whose Supreme Court enrollment numbers were allegedly used by the defendants to gain votes for Usoro include Gabriel Oladapo, Uthman Oluwaseun, David Anako, Bankole Toyin and Chiagoziem Aninilu.
No date has been fixed for the arraignment of the defendants.
Counts three and four of the charge read: “That you, Ajibola and Demide sometime in August 2018, knowingly altered the email addresses and phone numbers of about 1,004 eligible voters of the NBA 2018 national elections and, thereby, committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 13 of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015.
“That you, Demide sometime on August 19, 2018, within the jurisdiction of this court, fraudulently used the unique identification features such as name and Supreme Court enrolment number SCN043280 of one Gabriel Oladipo to vote as the same Gabriel Oladipo through your Smile modem on IP address 18.104.22.168;
“To vote with the intent of gaining electoral advantage in favour of Usoro, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 22(2) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015 under the same section.”