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Akeredolu asks Police in Ondo to probe allegation he became gov through election rigging

The governor of Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu, has asked police to investigate the allegation that he became governor, after the 2016 election in the state was rigged in his favour.

The governor’s request was contained in a letter he wrote to the state Commissioner of Police, Bolaji Salami.

The former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Ifedayo Abegunde, made the allegation after he resigned his appointment recently.

According to Abegunde, the actual winner of the 2016 governorship election in Ondo was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Eyitayo Jegede and not Akeredolu.

“Akeredolu didn’t win the election in 2016 but we made it possible for him to become governor. We were the pillars behind him and we will not support him again. He will lose this time around,” the ex-SSG had said.

However, in his letter, Akeredolu said it was important that the allegation be adequately probed by the security agencies.

In the letter to Ondo State Police Commissioner, written through Mr Femi Emmanuel Emodamori, a lawyer, Akeredolu said the allegation the election was rigged in his favour was false.

“According to the official result of the governorship election published by INEC, APC and its candidate, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu polled 224,842 votes, while the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate in the election, Eyitayo Jegede, polled 150,380 votes.

Read also: ‘Akeredolu didn’t win the election in 2016 but we made it possible for him to become governor’ —Ex-SSG

“The Alliance for Democracy and its candidate in the election, Chief Olusola Oke, came third, with total votes of 126,889.

“Our clients emphatically state that the much-publicised allegation of manipulation of the 2016 Ondo State election by Sunday Ifedayo Abegunde is diametrically spurious, false, reckless, senseless, and criminal.

“It was made to scandalise our clients, particularly the governor, three and half years after the undisputed election, and after Sunday Ifedayo Abegunde parted ways with the current government of Ondo State.

“You would agree with us that electoral integrity is a severe and sensitive issue in Nigeria. For any person to fraudulently procure the return of any other person to an elective office, whether directly or indirectly, is a criminal offence punishable with twelve (12) months imprisonment, under section 124(1) (a) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).

“We have the instruction of our clients to call on your office to set all the necessary machinery in motion.

“This is necessary to unravel the truth or falsehood in the allegation(s) of Sunday Ifedayo Abegunde, by conducting a thorough investigation into the allegation in this petition,” the petition read.

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