The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State has raised concern over disparities in the electoral materials brought to the State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), production of excess excess Polling Units Result Sheets (Form EC8A) and late return of electoral materials for House of Representatives dispatched on Friday, February 15, 2019 before the elections postponement.
The party said it was curious that materials for House of Representatives election were not complete, adding that, “No result sheets for Ward (Form EC8B) and Local Government (EC8C) as well as result sheets for final collation (Form EC8D) and announcement of final results (Form EC8E).”
Addressing journalists in the Afao-Ekiti country home of the immediate past Governor of the State, Ayodele Fayose, State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Gboyega Oguntuase said the party was concerned that it took INEC officials in some of the local governments up till 7pm to return the electoral materials to the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN office in Ado-Ekiti when directive to return the materials was issued as early as 8am on Saturday.
He challenged INEC to explain the rationale behind production of excess Polling Units Result Sheets (Form EC8A) that were more than two times the number polling units in Ekiti State, alleging that it was a clear manifestation of the electoral commission’s intention to rig the election by using the excess result sheets to enter fake results for the APC.
The chairman said; “It should be recalled that only materials for the conduct of House of Representatives election were brought to Ekiti State as at 9am on Friday and distributed. Those meant for the Presidential and Senatorial elections did not get to the State until the wee hours of Saturday.
“Curiously, materials for House of Representatives election were not complete. No result sheets for Ward (Form EC8B) and Local Government (EC8C) as well as result sheets for final collation (Form EC8D) and announcement of final results (Form EC8E).
“Also, there were excess Polling Units Result Sheets (EC8A). The excess were more than two times the number polling units in Ekiti State.
“This is to say that each of the Polling Units in Ekiti State had more than one result sheet! This is clear manifestation of INEC intention to rig the election by using the excess result sheets to enter fake results for the APC.
“Furthermore, as at the wee hours of Saturday; only electoral materials for the conduct of House of Representatives (partial), Presidential and South Senatorial elections were brought to Ekiti, leaving those for Central and North Senatorial Districts. The materials brought had excess Form EC8A.
“It should be noted that non-customized Federal Constituencies election materials that were partially brought from the custody of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) where security personnel’s and Party Agents had the opportunity to check, confirmed and thereafter moved the Ballot papers and polling units results sheets; (Form EC8A) to the 16 Local Governments at about 7pm on Friday before the election was postponed at the wee hours of Saturday.
“Immediately after the postponement, instruction was given to INEC offices at the Local Councils to withdraw all the materials already distributed and deposited same with the CBN except the Card Readers, which were said needed to be reconfigured.
“To our chagrin, despite the instruction, officials of INEC in Ekiti State refused and neglected to comply with the order.
“Our Party’s State Collation Agent, Legal Adviser, Secretary and my good self who took time to monitor the withdrawal/return of the materials as directed waited till 7:20pm of February 16, 2019 before the materials were brought to the CBN.
“Our concern is the rationale behind this late return of the materials despite the fact that there is no local government headquarter in Ekiti State that is more than TWO HOURS drive to Ado Ekiti, the State capital.
“Why did it take INEC officials in some of the local governments up till 7pm to return the electoral materials to the CBN office in Ado-Ekiti when directive to return the materials was issued as early as 8am on Saturday?
“We are constrained to raise this concern because chieftains and supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are now boasting around the various local governments that they are in custody of some vital electoral materials.
“Consequently, we are demanding that we be allowed by INEC and CBN tobdouble-check all the electoral materials, more particularly the sensitive materials.
“We must ascertain that none of the materials were tampered with and we cannot wait till dying minutes to the elections now fixed for Saturday, February 23, 2019.
“INEC must also explain why it brought excess polling units result sheets to Ekiti State because this, to us is a clear indication of intention to manipulate the elections.”
While accusing Governor Kayode Fayemi’s Chief Security Officer (CSO), Adeyanju Ajayi of using men of the State Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to arrest and harass members and supporters of the PDP in the State, the Chairman warned that members and supporters of the party will henceforth resist any illegal arrest.
He said; “At about 1am on Saturday, a hotel in Are-Ekiti, owned by the Director General of the Atiku/Obi Presidential Campaign Council in Ekiti State, Chief Dipo Anisulowo was invaded by armed SARS officers. Over ten people, including lodgers were arrested and detained till yesterday’s evening.
“Also, nine of our party supporters, including the mother of our House of Representatives candidate in Ekiti South Constituency (1), Hon. Segun Adekola were arrested in Igbara-Odo while another one was arrested in Ilawe-Ekiti.
“Our investigation revealed that the arrest was carried out on the order of Fayemi’s CSO and we wish to warn that this should stop forthwith because our members will henceforth resist any illegal arrest.”