Two embattled contestants for the Ondo State Assembly seats in Ilaje I and II constituencies, Abayomi Akinruntan and Coker Malachi, have continued to issue threats, including death ones, to the perceived whistleblower who exposed their illegal swearing in as state legislators.
In a statement obtained by our correspondent, one Lawson Akintokun alleged that Mr. Malachi had made several calls to his phone threatening him with death for allegedly alerting the police about the fake legislator’s criminal forgery of an electoral document.
Mr. Akintokun, who had earlier written a petition to the Ondo State police commissioner, asserted that his life was in danger from the two men who had reportedly made several threats against him.
Part of the petition read: “Mr. Malachi Coker about 11:51 a.m. of 08/07/2015 called me with GSM Number 0806661442 wherein he threatened to kill me no matter where I may be in Ondo State and that I should not venture to come down to Igbokoda otherwise I should consider myself dead.
“He even informed me that he has perfected [a] plan to eliminate Hon. Gbenga Edema and I should desist from associating with him otherwise I do so at my own peril.”
Mr. Akinrutan and Mr. Malachi, both members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), were last week exposed for criminally forging certificates of return as elected lawmakers from their respective constituencies.
The certificate of return is an electoral document solely issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to winners of elections.
An investigation by SaharaReporters revealed that the two PDP candidates were in possession of certificate of returns that were apparently not issued by INEC.
Despite the exposure of their forgery, the two men continue to represent themselves as legislators. At a public function last weekend, the master of ceremony introduced Mr. Malachi as the lawmaker representing Ilaje 11 constituency II. Our correspondent reported that the introduction elicited jeers and boos from the audience.
The alleged whistleblower, Mr. Akintokun, urged the police to ensure that only law enforcement officers from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) investigate the alleged forgery by the two politicians, disclosing that the suspects were fond of moving around with a huge complement of thugs.
On Monday, INEC officials in Ondo State restated that the commission never issued certificates of return to the two suspects. Segun Agbaje, the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), told our correspondent during a brief telephone interview that his office had not given certificates to the two suspects parading themselves as state lawmakers.
“As far as I am concerned, INEC has not given them (Mr. Akinrutan and Mr. Malachi) a certificate of return,” Mr. Agbaje said.
A police source told SaharaReporters that the two legislative imposters were currently under investigation and may be on a “wanted list." “If our investigation shows that they actually forged certificates of return, they will be arrested and will face the music,” said the source.