A phone conversation between SaharaReporters and Idowu Adelusi, the Chief Press Secretary for Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, reveals the latest attempt by Fayose’s team distort his involvement with rigging the Ekiti State gubernatorial election last year.
Governor Fayose’s position on the audio recording of a meeting between him, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, Police Minister Jelili Adesiyan, Senator Iyiola Omisore; and Brigadier General A.A Momoh plotting to rig the Ekiti State election has continuously evolved since SaharaReporters first leaked the story.
The story of the plot was first broken by SaharaReporters on February 5th, which only described the conversation between Governor Fayose and the others; the recording would not be released until later.
On February 6th Fayose denied that a meeting ever took place, and that the audio was fabricated by SaharaReporters using special computer software—this before SaharaReporters had even released the recording and transcripts to the public.
About one week later, SaharaReporters revealed another audio recording of Fayose speaking at a public rally the previous day. In it, Fayose offered a new version of events and admitted to have participated in the meeting with Obanikoro, Brigadier General Momoh, and others. Fayose can be heard on that audio recording saying “listen to the [leaked] tape, you will see I am one accusing the army of compromise,” indicating that he was at the meeting and that he was confronting Brigadier General Momoh of rigging the elections.
Governor Ayo Fayose is no longer the only individual admitting to have been present at the recorded meeting, both Jelili Adesiyan and Musiliu Obanikoro have said they were there but that they were not offering to bribe Brigadier General Momoh or plotting to rig the election. All three men now claim that Brigadier General Momoh was taking bribes from the APC, and that they were simply confronting him about his compromises.
Mr. Idowu Adelusi, the Chief Press Secretary for Governor Fayose, told SaharaReporters during a recent interview “if you listen carefully to the audio tape you will discover that it was Ayo Fayose was complaining that he was accusing it. The Brigadier General Momoh who was taking bribes from the former governor Fayemi and APC.”
When asked whether Governor Fayose was present during the recording, Adelusi said “Yes Fayose, I won’t call it a meeting, Fayose was acting on information he got on between Brigadier General Momoh and the APC trying to manipulate the election and trying to rig the election.”
However when SaharaReporters began quoting Fayose’s statements on the audio about bribing INEC officials to bring him blank election ballots Mr. Adelusi argued that “you didn’t listen to the recording very well,” and that “you will find the things you are saying about is not on the audio tape.” When pushed to on the subject of Fayose demanding to know why the blank INEC ballots had not reached him Mr. Adelusi repeatedly claimed that he could no longer hear SaharaReporters questions.
Idowu’s statements become more confused when he was asked about Fayose’s anger that Brigadier General Momoh was not arresting APC leaders like they had previously agreed. Mr. Adelusi argued that Governor Fayose was demanding that Brig. General Momoh arrest the APC leaders for trying to manipulate the elections in Ekiti. Adelusi said: “[Ayo Fayose] as a candidate must report to Brig. General Momoh that certain people are trying to cause problems. And that they should be arrested. [He has] the right to report to the head of security.”
Idowu Adelusi could not explain why Governor Fayose would go to Brigadier General Momoh to arrest the APC leaders for rigging, when he had first said that the meeting was called because they “had information” that Brigadier General Momoh was taking bribes from the APC.
Last week President Goodluck Jonathan told the Wall Street Journal that the audio SaharaReporters leaked was not worth investigating because “it’s not real.” His statement to the Wall Street Journal, however, contradicts the statements by Governor Fayose, Senator Obanikoro, and Minister Adesiyan who now all admit the recording is real.