The Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in Rivers State, Mrs. Gesila Khan, yesterday, denied allegation by the All Progressives Congress, APC, that she was bribed with N700 million to rig elections in the state in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
In a statement by her lawyer, Mr Selekeowei Larry, SAN, the Rivers REC said she never received such money from anyone or party as claimed by the APC.
She dared the APC to produce her statement of account that allegedly contained the huge sum of money, Mrs. Khan, insisted that she carried out her duty in accordance with the law and did not take side with any group, political party or persons.
Meanwhile, the family of Mrs Khan of Peretoru, Bayelsa State, has condemned what its described as the arrest and harassment of their daughter by the Department of State Services, DSS.
A statement in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State by the family through their representative, Mr. Okubama Johnbull, raised alarm over her poor health.
The family which appealed to the human rights community and public spirited individuals to come to their aid over the unlawful arrest, expressed displeasure over the DSS, stating that the arrest of the REC under any guise was uncalled for and vindictive.
According to the family:
“As a woman who was diagnosed of hypertension and diabetic, she was denied access to her drugs. It is a well known fact that all matters or issues concerning the past general elections across the country are presently being handled by various electoral tribunals.
“We wonder why the REC of Rivers State, Mrs. Khan was singled out for victimization and intimidated by DSS, as all issues concerning the past general elections are before competent electoral tribunals set up by laws of the country.”
The family called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene and call the DSS to order and allow due process and the rule of law to prevail.
Denying the allegation levelled against her, Mrs. Khan’s lawyer said “My client wishes to place it on record that she did not at anytime collect bribe from anyone and she does not have such money in her account as alleged by the APC. We therefore, challenge the APC or anyone who has her bank account containing that sum of money to produce it.”
Khan described the allegation against her as “ridiculous, baseless and a calculated attempt to tarnish her hard-earned reputation.”
She said that instead of commending her for serving the country, the APC rather chose to vilify her unjustifiably, adding that the DSS, never said that it found the alleged bribe money in her bank account.
She challenged the APC to tell the world the source of the “malicious information.”