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Ekiti Guber: Olusola Challenges July 14 Election, Submits 700-Page Petition To Tribunal

Kolapo-Olusola

Prof Olusola Kolapo

…Seeks court to declare him as the winner

Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti

Prof. Kolapo Olusola, Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, and governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the July 14 gubernatorial poll in Ekiti State, on Friday, submitted over 700 pages of petition to the election Tribunal in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, alleging ballot box stuffing, snatching, use of security forces to manipulate electoral process and gross falsification of results.

While submitting the petition at about 5:30p.m. on Friday, Eleka said: ” Today, I formally filed the much-expected petition against the results of the July 14, 2018 governorship election, which was openly manipulated by political desperadoes, using instruments of the Federal Government.

“Like I have maintained, I am challenging the election results not out of desperation to be governor, but for reasons of future and posterity, and largely on behalf of the people of Ekiti, who were taken aback by the outcome of the election.

“Without a doubt, the will of the people was subverted by those who have chosen to take Nigeria back to the dark days of ballot stuffing, ballot boxes snatching and outright falsification of election results and I believe they deserve to get justice.

“As a law-abiding citizen of our country, the only path of honour to take in a situation like this is the process that we have initiated today, to seek redress against the use of security forces and other instruments of the Federal Government to suppress the will of our people.

“Sadly, the desperation of the APC to take over all states in the country, especially those under governors like Dr Ayodele Fayose, perceived as uncompromising, has destroyed all the gains made by the PDP government regarding free, fair and credible elections.

“The mood of Ekiti people when the beneficiary of the electoral robbery was declared a winner and up till today is a pointer to the resolve of the people not to accept the subversion of their will and we have answered their calls to use the judiciary to get back their mandate.

“ln doing this, we have presented overwhelming discrepancies in the results declared by INEC to the tribunal to adjudicate upon and I am confident that the popular mandate of the people of Ekiti will not go un-restored.

“I, therefore, want Ekiti people to keep hope alive, remain strong and resolute in their belief in God.

” While we go through this judicial walk to exposing the electoral thievery of July 14, 2018, we urge the good people of Ekiti State, especially my teeming supporters to remain calm, peaceful and prayerful, bearing in mind that those who stole their mandate will not enjoy the benefits for long.

“I also want to use this opportunity to condemn the indefinite closure of the State Radio and Television stations.

“No doubt, the closure of the radio and television stations was part of the grand plan to sustain the inglorious use of naked force to rob Ekiti people of their democratic rights, but the people will triumph ultimately,” he said.  (The Sun)

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Report Of Fayose’s Impeachment: We’re Solidly Behind Him – Ekiti Assembly

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Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose

Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti

Twenty-three members of Ekiti State House of Assembly, on Friday, passed a vote of confidence on Governor Ayodele Fayose and dissociated themselves from an alleged plot to impeach the governor.

Armed policemen allegedly caused a stir when they laid siege on the Assembly premises, on Wednesday night, to pave way for the three lawmakers of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) to reconvene the plenary, a week after the members had gone on recess.

The move was condemned by Speaker Kolawole Oluwawole at a press briefing, on Friday, when he alleged that the Assembly’s Clerk’s signature was forged in a letter purportedly written to request for police cover.

But the chairman, House Committee on information, Samuel Omotoso, who spoke with newsmen on behalf of the 23 members at Government House, said they came on a solidarity visit to Governor Fayose.

He also expressed displeasure at the siege on the Assembly by the security agents, saying that the members are solidly behind the Governor.

Omotoso said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers were fully in support of the move by the party to retrieve Olusola’s mandate which was allegedly stolen from him.

He said, “We are here on a solidarity visit to the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Ayodele Fayose and to show our displeasure to the stealing of the mandate freely given to Prof Kolapo Olusola.

“We also want to use this medium to register our displeasure to the illegality being perpetrated by security agencies threatening to make the state ungovernable.

“As you can see, we are 23 members and 21 is present here. Mrs Titi Owolabi is not here because she is bereaved, and one of us travelled overseas.

“We are 26 members; three are on the other side. We are united and irrevocably committed to the cause of Fayose.

“We are solidly behind him and our party the PDP. We support the decision of the party to go to court to retrieve the stolen mandate and also to tell the whole world that if 23 members are on the same page, we want to see how they want to use three members to perpetuate illegality in the state.

“The tenure of this governor runs out on October 16 and by the grace of God, he will complete his tenure. We are elected members of our constituents and we will do all the needful to make sure that the interest of our people will be protected.

“We are very loyal to the cause of our Governor. We are solidly behind him and he will triumph over all his enemies,” he said.  (The Sun)

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We May Boycott 2019 Elections, Says PDP |The Republican News

Uche-Secondus

National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, Prince Uche Secondus

Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party has threatened that it may not participate in the 2019 general elections unless it gets the assurance that what happened in Ekiti State governorship election would not be repeated.

The National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, spoke in Abuja on Thursday when he granted audience to a joint delegation of International Republican Institute and National Democratic Institute at the party’s national headquarters.

Secondus accused the Independent National Electoral Commission and security agencies of being partial during the conduct of the Ekiti governorship election.

He said the main opposition party did not contest against the All Progressives Congress or any other political party in the state but contested against the commission and security agencies.

He said, “Our opinion is that INEC and security agents were directly involved in this manipulation.

“As a matter of fact, we did not contest against the APC; we contested against the security agencies and INEC. Nigerians and the international community are aware of this fact because of what happened in the state.”

Secondus disclosed that the PDP was consulting whether to participate in the 2019 general elections or not, “because you are participating against security agencies and INEC who have colluded to alter the figures even after you have voted. So, we are in a dilemma.”

According to him, if nothing is done to restore the confidence of ordinary Nigerians and other political parties, it may be difficult to accept the results of 2019 general elections, no matter what the outcome may be, noting that such may be a recipe for crisis.

He alleged that the state was militarised before and during the election, alleging that the leaders of the party were harassed and arrested and detained in the state.

He said, “Our members were harassed, arrested and detained overnight.”  (Punch)

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Ekiti Election Falls Below World Standard – Observers |The Republican News

Ekiti-election-2018

“The July election 14 was full of human rights violations, political party agents arrest, disruption of polls leading to the cancellation of polls results… It scared some voters away and is a clear case of violation of humans rights which disenfranchised voters as those who voted were either induced or forced to vote a certain party and made the poll to fall short of global standards.” – Yemisi Ige, Patriotic Women Foundation

Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti

A coalition of domestic and international election observers accredited to observe the July 14 governorship poll in Ekiti State have declared that the exercise fell below global standards.

The observers addressed newsmen at Pathfinders Hotel in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, yesterday, where they insisted that last Saturday’s governorship election, which produced DR. Kayode Fayemi, of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as governor-elect, falls short of global best practices and electoral standards as a result of lapses in the way a section of the large deployment of security agents conducted themselves, among other electoral related challenges.

The observers comprised representatives from over 50 domestic organisations, human rights groups and international election observing bodies, some of which are Centre for Credible Leadership and Citizens Awareness, (Nigeria), Justice and Equity Organisation, (Nigeria), International Republican Institute (South Africa), and Patriotic Women Foundation, (Abuja) as well as the other bodies from the European Union, among others.

They praised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the proper conduct of the poll, in line with global and constitutional dictates and standards, but faulted the deployment of 30,000 security agents, insisting that such development and conduct of some of the security operatives largely marred the electoral process.

They insisted that the unwholesome practice of voting-buying tagged ‘see and buy’ in local parlance, where voters surreptitiously showed which party they voted for to party agents who would then ‘settle them,’ ballot box snatching, sporadic shootings and sending away of some party agents as well as intimidation, oppression and forceful influence of electorates’ free will, among others, were among anomalies which characterised the poll.

The observers concluded that the July 14 poll cannot be recommended as a template for the forthcoming 2019 general election as it falls short of global standards and spells doom for the nation if the lapses noted are not addressed and a re-orientation, across the board, is put in place.

Addressing newsmen on behalf of domestic observers, Gabriel Nwambu, (PhD), of the Centre for Credible Leadership and Citizens Awareness, Abuja, said: “Modern democracy guarantees the freedom of the electorate to determine who to vote. Anything against this is a usurpation. Polls should also comply with globally accepted standards hence, the observers’ job is to access the level of compliance of the electoral umpire to constitutional regulations which serve as a way to give direction for future exercise.

“Reports of observers remain a potential tool for election tribunals and other monitoring and relevant bodies for post-election activities.

“Fifty-one reputable domestic observer groups were on the ground in all the 177 wards, 16 Local Government Areas and all the polling units in the state, to monitor the poll.

“Ekiti has a record of being a serial politically volatile state in Nigeria and this became manifest before during and after the poll.

“On July 14, domestic observers witnessed large turnout of the electorate from 6:30am, earlier than the stipulated 8:00am. The exercise witnessed a high level of unprecedented electoral related challenges and as such, abuse will remain contentious until justice prevails, especially in the areas of cash inducement, arrests of political stalwarts by security agents and snatching of electoral materials by political thugs among other abuses.”

The observer cited some units and wards in Aramoko, Ekiti West Local Government Area and Efon Alaaye, Erungbua settlement, Efon Local Government Area where there were large numbers of accredited voters. He added that while many electorates, including pregnant women, Persons Living with Disabilities and aged people trooped out to vote, card readers were slow, while voting-buying and cash inducement held sway.

“Finger biometric capture was slow. Party stewards were indicating to voters were to thumbprint. The poll was delayed due to the slow pace of machines.

“Party agents had huge cash and were close to voting points. Security agents were indifferent to cash inducement of voters.

“The whole process falls short of the compliance with international best standards.”

Speaking in the same vein, one of the International observers, Mrs Virginia Marumoa-Gae, of the International Republican Institute (IRIS) in South Africa, noted that accreditation and voting began simultaneously as early as 6:00am, with large numbers of voters who arrived earlier than scheduled 8:00am.

She said trouble began at 11:00am when “see and buy” started and this caused chaos across all the wards and polling units.

Citing several anomalies in the poll, she said: “Voters showed their ballot papers to party agents to collect money; thugs disrupted the voting process by shooting, but the police and other attaching security agents did well by establishing their presence at the polling units as stipulated by the constitution. We also noted that the INEC has improved on card readers this time,” she submitted

Continuing, Marumoa-Gae, said Ekiti people largely conducted themselves in a peaceful way but noted that, in other areas, there were vote-buying, use of illiterate as party agents, psychologically conditioning of the electorate that election is do or die and proper education of participants should be addressed ahead of the 2019 poll to avoid democratic disaster.

Also, Mrs Yemisi Ige, of the Patriotic Women Foundation, a human rights organisation based in Abuja, noted that while INEC did its best within the framework of electoral regulations, conspicuous lapses in security caused many of the anomalies that greeted the poll.

She said: “The July 14 election was full of human rights violations, political party agents arrest, disruption of polls leading to cancellation of polls results,” and added that the deployment of 30, 000 policemen was unwarranted as “it scared some voters away and is a clear case of violation of humans rights which disenfranchised voters as those who voted were either induced or forced to vote a certain party and made the poll to fall short of global standards.”  (The Sun)

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EFCC Mocks Fayose, Says We’re Expecting You very Soon |RN

EFCC Boss, Ibrahim Magu

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has lampooned Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State after the failure of his preferred candidate, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, at the polls.

The EFCC said in a tweet that with Fayose’s tenure ending in less than three months coupled with the loss of his immunity, he should begin to prepare to visit the commission.

The commission hinted that investigation into Fayose’s alleged N1.3bn poultry project during his first term from 2003 to 2006, would be reopened and the prosecution would be able to continue

The tweet read, “The parri (party) is over; the cloak of immunity torn apart and the staff broken.

“Ekiti Integrated Poultry Project/Biological concepts Limited N1.3bn fraud case file dusted off the shelves. See you soon.”

However, a large section of Nigerians on Twitter accused the EFCC of being unprofessional and fighting a one-sided anti-corruption war.

The anti-graft agency subsequently deleted the tweet.

Fayose has been having a running battle with the EFCC since 2007 but it intensified in 2016 after it was discovered that the governor, while running for office in 2014, allegedly received over N1.3bn from the then Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, who is now a member of the All Progressives Congress.

The money was said to have emanated from the account of the Office of the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), who has been in detention for nearly three years.

Fayose’s aide and trusted ally, Abiodun Agbele, who allegedly received the money from Obanikoro, has since been arraigned by the anti-graft agency while all of Fayose’s accounts have been frozen.

The governor was, however, untouched due to his immunity.

Obanikoro has, however, been converted to a prosecution witness and will be expected to give evidence against the governor when his tenure ends.

With Fayose’s tenure coming to an end on October 16, 2018, his case is expected to be immediately reopened.  (Punch)

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Ekiti Guber: British High Commissioner Says Process Peaceful So Far |RN

paul_arkwright

British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Paul Arkwright

Oluseye Ojo, Isan-Ekiti
British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Paul Arkwright, has said the conduct of the governorship election in Ekiti State has been peaceful so far.

In an interview with journalists at Ogilolo in Isan-Ekiti, he also said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was well prepared for the exercise, adding that the security agencies also composed themselves very well.

Arkwright, who is a member of the international observers, monitoring the election stated: “We have been to about five units so far. From the polling units that I have visited, they were peaceful. The system seems to be working. They opened on time from what I have seen.

“As observers, we are taking note and we will report back to INEC at the end of the day, giving our reports. We are neutral international observers, watching the process of trying to ensure that the exercise is free, fair, credible and indeed peaceful. So, let us see how it goes. We are very pleased to be able to be here.”

Arkwright also described the ongoing election as a precursor to the 2019 general elections in Nigeria, saying: “This election is an important milestone on the road to 2019. In Ekiti itself, it is important for the process to be free, fair, credible and indeed peaceful. We have looked around, and the most important thing is that people were able to express their own opinions to vote freely as they wished to vote, and not to be intimidated or induced in any way, to vote according to their conscience for what they think is best for them, for their families and for their communities.

“The International Bureau for the British Government is not supporting one candidate, we are not supporting one party. But we are supporting the process.”

Fielding questions on his assessment of INEC’s preparation for the poll, Arkwright said: “From what I saw, INEC prepared very well for the election. I spoke to the INEC Chairman in Abuja 10 days ago and he said the commission was well prepared. I spoke to the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) yesterday, and as far as I can see, the sensitive materials were sent to the polling units in time. From what I can see, things seem to be working well.

“We are not just staying in one particular area, there are British International Observers in every part of the state. When we combine together this evening, we will be comparing notes.”

Arkwright also assessed the conduct of security agencies in the places he had visited so far, saying: “From what I can see, the security agencies are doing their job. I can see the police standing by to ensure peace. In my experience and with what I have seen, this is a snapshot of the election. I will get the whole picture when I am back to the state capital and compare notes with my colleagues.”       (The Sun)

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Live Update: Ekiti Guber Elections 2018 |The Republican News

Ismail Omipidan

Multiple voting in some polling units in Oye

Senator Ayo Arise voted at exactly 11.01 am in Ward 1, unit 1 in Oye council

In Odo-Ado, Oke-Ila, all in the state capital, thugs of one of the political parties are preventing perceived sympathisers of the other party from accessing voting centres, let alone allow them to vote.

Ballot box snatched at Itapa-Osin in Oye council. But security operatives were able to retrieve.

A member of the House of Assembly, Olayemi Omotoso alleged that APC chieftains were using security operatives to disperse their agents from polling units in Ido-Ekiti.


Paul Arkwright

Ekiti Guber: Fayemi says every vote must count
From Oluseye Ojo, Isan-Ekiti

The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the ongoing gubernatorial poll, in Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has said every vote must count in view of the reports he received that card readers did not work in some polling units, arrests and skirmishes in some places.

Speaking with journalists shortly after he cast his vote at Unit 009, Ward 11, not a front of A paths House, Ogilolo, he said the reports he received from the representatives of APC on the field stated that the election has been peaceful in many places.

According to him, “I was accredited without any difficulty and I voted. I have heard about the card readers problem in some places and that affected my wife too. But the officials have been cautious. They asked us to exercise patience. They could see her name on the register. So, there is really no issue of impersonation.

“Although, I have heard reports of skirmishes from some parts of Ekiti State. I have heard about a couple of arrests. I have heard reports of problems with some card readers in some units. But it is too early to make a definitive judgment about this process yet. I will plead with you journalists to give me more time to assess the situation before giving you a definitive answer on how the process has turned out. But every vote must count.


Wole Balogun, Ekiti

Poll update: APC alleges members were des enfranchised at polling units in the palace of Ogoga of Ikere

Poll update: APC alleges members were disenfranchised at polling units in the palace of Ogoga of Ikere


Ekiti elections u

Ekiti Guber: Fayemi says every vote must count

From Oluseye Ojo, Isan-Ekiti

The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the ongoing gubernatorial poll, in Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has said every vote must count in view of the reports he received that card readers did not work in some polling units, arrests and skirmishes in some places.

Speaking with journalists shortly after he cast his vote at Unit 009, Ward 11, not a front of A paths House, Ogilolo, he said the reports he received from the representatives of APC on the field stated that the election has been peaceful in many places.

According to him, “I was accredited without any difficulty and I voted. I have heard about the card readers problem in some places and that affected my wife too. But the officials have been cautious. They asked us to exercise patience. They could see her name on the register. So, there is really no issue of impersonation.

“Although, I have heard reports of skirmishes from some parts of Ekiti State. I have heard about a couple of arrests. I have heard reports of problems with some card readers in some units. But it is too early to make a definitive judgment about this process yet. I will plead with you journalists to give me more time to assess the situation before giving you a definitive answer on how the process has turned out. But every vote must count.


Ekiti Guber: European Union wants to see continued consolidation of democracy in Nigeria – Karlsen
From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan

The European Union Ambassador to Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mr Ketil Karlsen, who is leading a group of international observers in monitoring the governorship election in Ekiti State, has described the exercise as a stepping stone on the road to the general elections in 2019.

In an interview with journalists in Ifaki-Ekiti, the hometown of the former governor of Ekiti State, Segun Oni, Karlsen said the European Union wants to see continued consolidation of democracy in Nigeria.

He continued: “We have a number of diplomatic observers in Ekiti State today. Of course, we came together with colleagues from the international community. So, this is a reflection of the huge engagement of the EU in supporting democratic governance in Nigeria.”

He explained that the EU has been sending observers to Nigeria to monitor elections since the 1999 general elections in the country, saying: “We have had observers here non-stop since the democratisation in 1999 general elections. So, this is an important day, a stepping stone on the road to the general elections in 2019.

“For us, democracy is the best, and the only way to secure development, to secure security and to make sure that there is a stable society,” adding that the EU was eager to see more democracies for the people, and democracies “for leaders that have only one thing in their minds, which is to find the best solution to the challenges that people face. So, this is what we hope to see today reflected in Ekiti.

“As the international community, we don’t have any preferred candidate, or any preferred party or ideology. Our only preference is the continued consolidation of democracy and hearing the voice of the people by the end of the day.

“So, this is what a lot of people behind me (electorate) have come out to say that they want to have a choice in selecting their leadership for the next four years in Ekiti and hopefully in that same spirit, we will see similar processes also moving on to the general elections in 2019.


Wole Balogun, Ekiti

Poll update: poll snatching by suspected thugs prevented in Olobe area of Ado Ekiti, the polling unit of PDP deputy governorship candidate, Ayodeji Ogunsakin.

Thugs numbering up to about 400 were prevented from snatching ballot boxes in Olobe area of Ado Ekiti as youths resisted the snatching of ballot boxes. (The Sun)

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