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Tuesday, November 21, 2023

ALLEGED BRIBE-TAKING LAWMAKERS (9): David Idris Zacharias – Kogi State Politician with Many Names

David Idris Zacharias, a Kogi State-based politician representing Idah, Ibaji, Igalamela Ofu Federal Constituency in the Nigeria Federal House of Representatives. He is among the committee of lawmakers exposed by PREMIUM TIMES for allegedly taking bribes from federal agencies and institutions they were investigating for job racketeering.

Zacharias began his political struggle to represent his constituents in 2015 when he contested for the ticket of All Progressives Congress (APC) but lost to his opponent at APC primaries.

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Zacharias won the constituency seat in 2019 beating then-incumbent Emmanuel Egwu of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at the general elections with a clear margin of victory, which was upheld tribunal sitting on August 22, 2019.

Meanwhile, in 2022, Zacharias was accused of using different names and forged credentials by some of the APC members, and therefore he should not be allowed to re-contest for the 2023 elections.

The petition partly read: “A careful look at the INEC Form CF001 submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission by Hon. David Zacharias used in contesting for elections in 2019 under the platform of our party, the documents accompanying the said form was grossly defective as it contained false information”

“This could lead to the disqualification of our party if he emerges the flag bearer of our party in the forthcoming election and the said document is already in the public domain and from very reliable sources it is also in the possession of some members of the opposition party waiting to use it in making sure our party does not field a candidate in 2023 as was previously seen in Bayelsa State and Zamfara State.”

He was also accused of submitting false documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 2019.

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The petition revealed that the lawmaker had eight different names on his credentials, which are; David Idris Zacharias, David Zacharias, Zacharias David Idris, David Zacharias, Drisu Zekeri others include, Monday Amana, Idris Zakari and David Zakarias. The petitions did not halt the lawmakers’ ambition of retaining the seat.

David Idris Zacharias also allegedly threatened Prince Umona Audu, a Chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and son of the former governor Late Abubakar Audu, with assassination an allegation the lawmaker refuted and described it as mischief taken too far.

Last month, he won at the Tribunal sitting in Lokaja, the state capital over a petition filed against him by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 National Assembly election, Mr Victor Uchola for lack of merit.

The Premium Times investigative report revealed that the 37-man lawmakers’ committee in which Zacharias is a member, pocketed at least N267 million in bribes through a proxy from the agencies and institutions they were probing.

However, Yusuf Gagdi, a lawmaker representing the Pankshin/Kanam/Kanke federal constituency in Plateau State who happened to be the Chairman of the committee refuted the allegations despite evidence unearthed during the investigation.


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