By: Olajide Toriola
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has arraigned seven persons arrested for electoral offences during the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State.
Emmanuel Adejoye (30); Morire Olomojuni (27); Oladeji Ololajulo (36) and Ajinde Ebigbemi (26) were arraigned at the Magistrates’ Court, Olukayode House, Hospital Road, Akure, last week.
Sunday Aminu (29), Segun Fagbemi (30) and Tope Awe (28) were arraigned at the Magistrates’ Court, Oke-Eda, yesterday.
Prosecution counsel Adeniyi Lawal said Adejoye, Olomojuni and Ololajulo were allegedly arrested with eight Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), at Mahin Ward 1, Unit 16, Igbokoda in Ilaje Local Government Area on Election Day.
He added that Ebigbemi was arrested for allegedly breaching the peace at Ekitan Ward, Unit 10, Okonla in Ilaje Local Government on the same day.
Lawal said Aminu, Fagbemi, and Awe were arrested by the police at Oke-Ijebu, Akure for allegedly carrying cutlasses while going to vote.
But defence counsel Femi Adetoye argued that the INEC has no constitutional right to prosecute electoral offenders.
Adetoye noted that the prosecution of electoral offenders lies in the hands of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
The INEC lawyer said Section 150 of the Electoral Act grants the commission power to prosecute offenders.
The Chief Magistrate, Bob Manuel, ruled in INEC’s favour and adjourned the matter till February 16.
- Source – The Nation