Minister of Police Affairs Jelili Adesiyan has tacitly admitted that there was an encounter between several top officials of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a senior military officer who was badgered to intimidate members of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in order to ensure victory for the PDP in the Ekiti State governorship election.
SaharaReporters had exclusively released the audiotape of a heated session where PDP members, including (now) Governor Ayo Fayose, Mr. Adesiyan, former Minister of State for Defense, Musiliu Obanikoro, and Senator Iyiola Omisore ordered Brigadier General A.A. Momoh to order troops under his control to arrest and detain APC members in a plot to guarantee victory for Mr. Fayose.
After our disclosure, both Governor Fayose and Mr. Obanikoro denied the authenticity of the tape, with Mr. Obanikoro threatening to sue SaharaReporters.
But in an interview with Sunday Punch newspaper, Mr. Adesiyan admitted that the encounter took place, even though he tried to lessen the criminal nature of the exchanges by claiming that the meeting was to persuade the officer to release some detained PDP agents. In addition, the minister stated that the atmosphere became charged when Mr. Fayose accused the military officer of taking a bribe from then Governor Kayode Fayemi.
Sunday Punch reported that the Police Affairs Minister “admitted that there was a conversation but it was at a scene in Ado-Ekiti, when Fayose and the General engaged in an altercation which almost resulted in a fight.”
According to the minister, the near physical fight happened after some people at the meeting accused Brigadier General Momoh of being bribed by Governor Kayode Fayemi and the All Progressives Congress. The accusation “led to a heated argument between [the general] and Fayose,” Sunday Punch reported.
The paper reported Mr. Adesiyan as stating, “Nigerians are not dummies. These people are mischievous; somebody recorded the scene but let everybody listen to it. Listen to it yourself and get back to me.
“Fayose accused the General who supervised the Ekiti election of taking bribe from Fayemi and APC, that was two days before the election. They called me because they said the General disarmed policemen and I told him to allow the policemen to do their job.
“I was there, Fayose was there, Otunba Omisore was there, Senator Obanikoro was there. I am not denying that there was a conversation but it was not what they are saying.”