The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu has described as untrue and baseless Ekiti State governor Ayodele Fayose’s rigging allegation against the commission.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Rotimi Oyekanmi, on Tuesday, Yakubu argued that it was impossible for anyone to rig the election in favour of any candidate.
Fayose had accused a national commissioner with INEC, Mrs. Aminat Zakari, of conspiring with three others to pre-load card readers, supply faulty card readers and provide ballot papers for stuffing of ballot boxes to rig the election for the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the July 14 governorship election in the state, former Governor Kayode Fayemi.
After Zakari had challenged Fayose to prove his allegations, the governor on Tuesday confronted INEC with video evidence of pre-loading of card readers in the state.
He also attacked the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ahmed Bello and the Director of the Department of State Services, Mrs. Promise Ihenacho, accusing them of deploying security aides of Fayemi to Ekiti State to rig governorship election.
According to Fayose, Fayemi’s ex-Chief Security Officer, Hakeem Abiola, and former Aide de camp, Adeyemi Ajayi, were already in the state to coordinate indiscriminate arrest of the members of the opposition.
The governor made the claims at a town hall meeting organised by the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room for governorship candidates in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday.
Tendering a video evidence of people allegedly pre-loading card readers in Akure ahead of the election to the INEC National Commissioner in charge of Ekiti, Osun and Oyo states, Mr. Solomon Soyebi, at the meeting chaired by Mr. Clement Nwakwo, Fayose said, “This is the evidence of people pre-loading card readers in Akure. Any officer who is seen to be biased should be relieved of any sensitive assignment.”
Soyebi, in his response told Fayose, “I know the information will come to you, but they are fake. The card readers will only start working on the day of the election. A lot of people will be giving you information; a lot of them will be fake.”
In his statement also, Yakubu said, “We wish to emphasise that it is impossible for the commission’s officials, any individual or group for that matter to pre-load the Smart Card Readers or provide ballot papers for stuffing as alleged.”
While he explained that smart card readers performed three functions, identifying, verifying and authenticating the voter and the PVC, Yakubu added that it could only function on the Election Day.
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