FROM: TAIWO AMODU, WOLE BALOGUN, CHINELO OBOGO, BAMGBOLA GBOLAGUNTE ( AKURE)
Ondo state governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) of an orchestrated plot to ensure victory in Saturday governorship election for the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), Rotimi Akeredolu.
Addressing a gathering of his party supporters in Akure, the Ondo state capital, governor Mimiko enunciated hurdles which he claimed were meant to arm-twist the PDP candidate, Eyitayo Jegede.
Restating his party’s demand for the shift of the poll, governor Mimiko submitted that PDP candidate whose ticket was restored on Wednesday by the judgment of the courts of appeal and the Supreme Court was being denied ample opportunity to seek for votes of Ondo electorate which he noted was a contravention of the electoral act.
He said: ‘’ For the avoidance of doubt, this ungodly process started when INEC, in a flagrant disregard of extant laws guiding elections, removed the name of Eyitayo Jegede on the basis of a Justice Abang order that has since been declared as a fraud by the Supreme Court and the Court of appeal. We wonder why INEC would remove the name of a man who emerged on a party primary that was conducted in a free, fair and open environment, and by legitimate organs of the party, INEC. It is elementary, in the electoral Act, primaries of governorship elections as prescribed, was supposed to have taken place in the capital city of Akure here. Eyitayo Jegede emerged in the process that took place in Akure here. Yet, another person who claimed to be a member of this party who had since been declared as an impostor , went to Ibadan, middle of the night, to hold what they tagged primary election and INEC, in their own wisdom quote and unquote, decided to remove the name of Jegede and substituted it with the name of Jimoh Ibrahim. ‘’INEC disregarded all legal advice, not to substitute Eyitayo Jegede by his own chosen committee of lawyers. INEC, has a consortium of Senior Advocates that advises it, that consortium, clearly advised in a written document, that INEC, should under no condition , not substitute the name of Jegede, because Eyitayo Jegede was the legal and proper candidate of PDP
‘’Several other hurdles were place on the way of PDP candidate, to the extent that he did not become a candidate until about 48 hours before his own election.
‘’On October 27, Eyitayo Jegedes name was removed, judgment eventually came on the way of Jegede just last Wednesday, it wasn’t until Thursday that eventfully INEC brought out the name of Eyitayo Jegede, on the ballot papers, that is less than 48 hours to the election. INEC did not release the list of voters’ register to PDP until yesterday, a clear infraction of its own laws. In a free and fair contest, INEC is supposed to have released the electoral register so that the candidate can actually know and a party can be properly organized, under the electoral Act and clearly spelt out by INEC guidelines, a nominated candidate should have his name published at least 30 days before election. INEC denied Eyitayo Jegede the right to submit the list of his party agents, which according to section 45 of the electoral Act, he is supposed to submit his party agents list which according to section 37 of electoral Act, he supposed to submit the list of his party agents at least seven days before election. A day to election now, Eyitayo Jegede and PDP are not sure of who are parading themselves as party agents. ‘’In fact, we got information yesterday that some so called party agents of PDP held a meeting somewhere in Akoko and agreed to work with APC. Those are clearly not our agents. Those are agents of a candidate that has been described as an impostor in our party.