Kayode Fayemi, former Governor of Ekiti State, has accused Ayodele Fayose, Governor of the state and officials of the Indepedent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as scheming to do some hanky-panky in the July 14 governorship election.
Fayemi, who is aspiring to take over from his long-time arch rival Fayose, revealed through his campaign organisation that about four INEC officials are involved in the plan.
According to Bamidele Faparusi, the Deputy Director-General (South) of KFCO, who was addressing journalists on Tuesday, Ishaku Abbo, a fromer official with INEC, has been sharing apartments with Fayose in the Government House since the beginning of the year.
He said a meeting was held behind closed doors in the Government House with three officials of INEC who work at the national headquarters. He also named Egharevba John, Festus Aisien, Igidiogu Kelechi and Abbo as the INEC officials involved in the plan.
Faparusi said: “Curiously, these three top officials hold strategic positions in election management. One is from the Administration; one is Stores and Distribution Department while the other is an Information and Communications Technology top official.
“For the reasons best known to them, only the Government House was their exclusive port of call; APC was never in the picture.
“After this evil agenda, Fayose stormed the media to raise allegations that the APC was in Ondo State Government House to manipulate the ballot to give the APC an edge in the July 14 election.
“When Fayose is up to something sinister, he will accuse an innocent man of committing that evil. And so immediately he made the allegation, we knew he had concluded an evil agenda.”
Faparusi further disclosed that some sensitive INEC documents were being unlawfully producedin the Government House with the assistance of INEC officials, and that they came to this conclusion after an investigation was carried out.
He said: “Documents already produced include stamps, PVCs, Result sheets (Form EC 8A) and INEC accreditation forms.
“We are calling on INEC headquarters to note these atrocities being perpetrated by its corrupt officials to tarnish the image of the electoral body.”
Faparusi urged security agencies to look into all these activities and ensure that culprits are made to face the law.
However, INEC's Public Relations Officer in Ekiti, Taiwo Gbadegesin, refuted Faparusi's claim, saying the commission didn’t receive any official from Abuja and that no officers of the commission assisted the governor on any scheduled appointment or emergency invitation.
He said: “There is no form called accreditation form in the first place; accreditation will be done with smart card readers and the four people mentioned were our members of staff but they had not visited Ekiti for any reason.
“Let me also tell the public that form EC8A is with the CBN and it will be deployed to Ekiti with ballot papers. They are coded with serial numbers and can’t be duplicated by anybody.
“As part of our openness, we sent the voter registers to all the political parties. Our doors are open to all political parties; so the APC is free to come here and make verifications, rather than making unsubstantiated allegations.”
The campaign organisation of the PDP governorship candidate in Ekiti State, Prof Kolapo Olusola also reacted to Fayemi's allegations, describing Fayemi as a "frustrated desperate politician that already smells electoral defeat".
The Director of Media and Publicity, Kolapo Olusola Campaign Organisation, Lere Olayinka, said this showed that Fayemi was just using it to distract and sway himself back to power.
He said: “Those banking on the federal might to foist themselves on Ekiti people are the ones now crying just to divert attention. We have been preparing for this election since 2016 and Ishaku Abbo was engaged as a consultant since then.
“Whereas, Fayemi is just running around trying to market a battered image to the same Ekiti people that he maltreated when he was governor and did nothing when he was a minister.”