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HOW INEC WILL RIG 2014 ELECTION FOR AREGBESOLA PDP ALLEGES

Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola
Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State said it has uncovered plot by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to rig the 2014 governorship election in conjunction with the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for governor of the state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.

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Chairman of the party in the state, Alhaji Ganiyu Olaoluwa said in a statement that INEC chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega planned to execute the plan by posting and retaining Mr. Oluwatoyin Akeju, a card-carrying member of the ACN to the state as Resident Electoral Commission (REC) despite a court ruling directing the electoral umpire to substitute him.

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According to Olaoluwa, Akeju is not only an aide of the leader of ACN, Senator Bola Tinubu but also a card carrying member of the ACN.

“Akeju`s appointment and posting to Osun state was a violation of the provision of  integrity and impartiality of Resident Electoral Commissions enshrined in the constitution”, he said adding that thirty seven members of the People’s Democratic Party approached the court seeking an order to stop the said Akeju.

“The court not only issued an interlocutory injunction but specifically order INEC to replace Akeju before the 2011 elections in the state”, he said, adding that in an unprecedented move, Prof Jega in confirmation of his collusion with ACN ordered Akeju to stay on and rigged the 2011 elections allegedly  in favour of the A C N.

“Jega’s INEC after disobeying a validly issued court order also appealed against the ruling in continuation of plans to again manipulate the 2014 election as his agent did in the 2011 polls.We had thought Prof jega will retrace his steps after his agent, Akeju had executed the rigging agenda for 2011, but we were shocked as the commission boss has embarked on another round of manipulative game ahead of 2014 by retaining the same Akeju as electoral umpire in Osun state.

“To prepare ground for that agenda, Jega through his press secretary issued a shameful anti-democratic statement denying existence of a court order and also unwittingly admitted its defence of an A C N sympathiser.  Jega`s conduct undermines the integrity of the commission and re-confirms our earlier position that we have no trust in the electoral leadership in Osun state. If we may ask, what is Jega`s interest in defending an ACN loyalist supervising elections in Osun? Why is Jega undermining the constitution by ignoring provisions on integrity and impartiality as conditions for appointment of electoral commissioners?

“We submit that the commission`s admission of an appeal against the ignored court ruling was a direct indictment of its leadership and a dent on the commission`s much vaunted impartiality in the electoral process. We put it to Prof Jega and his team that they lied by denying existence of a subsisting court order. By not admitting that its appeal against the order is still pending, the commission commits deceit and falsification in its desperate bid to defend its pro-ACN stance.

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“For the commission to equate an appeal to vacation of an order is a demonstration of ignoble falsehood and blind loyalty to external partisan interest. It is trite fact in law that an appeal does not and cannot constitute vacation of a validly issued order. As at today, there is no appeal ruling that has vacated the interlocutory injunction issued by Justice Babs Kuewumi of the Federal High Court Osogbo on February 28th, 2011”, the chairman stated.

According to him, the judge had ruled on motion on notice in suit FHC/os/cs/26/2011 that an interlocutory order of injunction is hereby made restraining the INEC from recognizing Mr Akeju as the REC and another one restraining Mr Akeju from conducting or supervising the conduct of elections as Resident Electoral Commissioner in Osun state.

“The judge also proceeded to specifically direct INEC to effect necessary changes in the state REC leadership in line with the court order. If Jega is not in collusion with the ACN in Osun state, why did he ignor and later appealed this order?

“We repeat that INEC lied by claiming that Justice Keuwumi had ordered a stay of proceeding or a vacation of the above order. The truth is that INEC applied for a stay of execution and this appeal is still pending. The appeal which was to come up on the 28th of last month was adjourned sine dine due to elevation of Justice Kudirat Kekere-ekun as a Supreme Court Justice. By attempting to deceive the public so openly, Prof Jega confirms  a grand cover up to retain Akeju for another hatchet job come 2014. This will not fly.

“By admitting to have appealed against a corrective court order, Jega`s commission has willingly exposed its compromised status as far as elections in Osun state is concerned.  We have seen through his plan and we affirm that no free and fair election can hold in Osun state unless Mr Akeju is replaced with an impartial umpire. “Constitutional provision governing appointment and deployment of electoral commissioners must be observed and obeyed. Akeju as REC in Osun is an affront on equity and justice as well as a threat to the conduct of acceptable, free and fair elections in Osun state, ” the party said in the statement.

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