Fresh facts have emerged on how the June 21, 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State was allegedly manipulated in favour of Governor Ayo Fayose.
The embattled former State Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Tope Aluko, has revealed how the rigging was perfected inside a hotel barely a week before the poll.
He said sensitive materials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), such as ballot papers and result sheets, were delivered to PDP chieftains to allow for the manipulation of the poll long before the first ballot was cast.
Speaking on a special interview programme on Wednesday on ADABA 88. 9 FM monitored by our reporter, Aluko claimed that the electoral materials were delivered through Akure Airport and taken to a hotel owned by Fayose’s Chief of Staff Dipo Anisulowo in Are-Ekiti, where the alleged manipulation was carried out.
He said ballot papers were thumb-printed and result sheets filled by PDP members, which gave the party “undue advantage”.
Aluko explained that Department of State Services (DSS) operatives, led by a woman officer, stormed Anisulowo’s hotel and arrested the PDP henchmen but they were released within three hours because “you know we (PDP) were in government at that time”.
The whistleblower said a lorry conveying some of the electoral materials was intercepted by soldiers led by the recently retired Brig.-Gen. Aliyu Momoh.
“But the materials were later released after the officers received ‘order from above’.”
According to him, the Fayose administration received the refund of the N5.2 billion spent on Ado-Ifaki highway by the Kayode Fayemi administration.
He said the governor initially denied but it was confirmed by former President Goodluck Jonathan during the PDP presidential campaign rally.
The PDP chief alleged that the money was diverted to the Ado-Ekiti flyover, following the outcry generated.
Aluko said: “Ask him (Fayose) why did (former Works Commissioner) Kayode Oso flee?
“Finance Commissioner Toyin Ojo told DSS interrogators about the state’s finances, including the N5.2 billion refunded on theAdo-Ifaki Road carried out by Fayemi.
“You will recall that the governor denied receiving the refund but Ojo’s revelation made him (Fayose) divert the money for the flyover.”
Responding to questions on the prosecution threat by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Owoseni Ajayi, the PDP chieftain said Ajayi is also liable for prosecution for his alleged role in an attack on the court.
Aluko said: “I pity Owoseni Ajayi who is saying that I should be prosecuted because he (Ajayi) was the one who ‘disrupted’ the delivery of a ruling by Justice Olusegun Ogunyemi.
“Owoseni told Fayose on phone that should the judge deliver the ruling on the perjury case, it would go against him and his planned swearing-in would be in jeopardy.”
Speaking on the purported reconciliation meeting with Fayose in a Lagos hotel, Aluko said he never went to meet Fayose as believed in some quarters.
His words: “It was the governor and former Ekiti Assembly factional Speaker Dele Olugbemi who barged into a meeting I was holding with some PDP leaders.
“Olugbemi and Fayose barged into the meeting venue. Olugbemi is a liar. He had lied against Fayose.
“He lied against the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the PDP.
“He is working for the money and appointment he just received from Fayose.
“I did not create a scene at the venue because hefty men were stationed around and my wife was afraid of what could happen.
“The governor held my clothes that I should not talk when I wanted to talk.
“I feared for my wife who later disappeared from the scene and I did not know her whereabouts.
“They almost attacked me when I went to Channels Television but it was policemen led by the CP who saved me after being holed up there for about three hours.
“I played safe because of my wife and to avoid the scenario that played out when I went to Channels Television to grant my first interview.”
Aluko contended that his disagreement with the governor started with his (Fayose’s) alleged derailment from the plan for the development of Ekiti State and not because he was not made Chief of Staff.
He said: “I am not doing this because I was denied appointment. I discovered that this man has no plans for Ekiti and I went to him that Oga, it’s almost a year in office now and we have not done anything for the people.
“Fayose replied me by saying ‘don’t worry, Ekiti people are easy to deceive because by the time you buy them ponmo (cow skin) and booli (roasted plantain), you have stolen their hearts’.
“It was there that our crisis started. The issue of Chief of Staff was secondary.
“Fayose derailed from our blueprint for the development of Ekiti. He cancelled the monthly allowances for the aged.
“He imposed taxes on primary school pupils, among his other anti-people policies but when I reminded him, he told me that Ekiti people are gullible.
“I need the prayer of Nigerians so that I will not fall prey to the evil machinations of those planning to kill me by all means because of the truth I told Nigerians.”