The embattled former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Maurice Iwu, has revealed that his travails with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) began during the last presidential election.
The EFCC had arraigned Iwu before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on a four-count charge bordering on money laundering. He was granted N1 billion bail.
In a statement he personally signed and issued to reporters in Owerri, Imo State capital, Iwu claimed EFCC operatives seized his international passport and prevented him from voting in the February 23, 2019 presidential poll.
Iwu’s press statement read in part,
“The journey I have found myself on began brewing on February 23, 2019 when I was deprived of my civic duty of voting in the presidential election as a result of the EFCC investigations.
“From the seizure of my international passport that February till this recent ordeal with actual charges and detention, God’s goodness has remained manifest as I recite Te Deum in thanksgiving.
“I want to thank Nigerians both at home and in the diaspora for their enormous show of concern, support and the spiritual discipline (for not crucifying me before my day in the court of law).
“My gratitude goes to Ndi Igbo, umu Imo, Okigwe indigenes (both at home and abroad), and clerics from various denominations, especially of the Catholic faith, which I belong to.
“The support was not just in words of encouragement but more in actions of prayers; for in it all, the glory of God was made manifest. Though I ask the same question Ps. 4:2a stated, “How long, oh men will you turn my glory into shame?’
“It is noteworthy that none of the charges against me has to do with my tenure as Chairman of INEC.
“And to the scientific community, please be assured that this would not negatively affect the several ongoing work by Bioresources Institute of Nigeria (BION) in contributing to the discovery and development of phytomedicines for tropical and emergent diseases, and the use of our world-class research facility for the standardisation of African Medicinal Plants,” he said.