A group of Ogun indigenes on Thursday called for the suspension of the Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ogun State, Niyi Ijalaye, for allegedly doctoring and rigging the result of Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
The group, under the aegis of the Ogun Assembly of Patriots International, also accused the State Returning Officer, Prof Kayode Adebowale, of impunity during the collation and announcement of results.
Adebowale, who is the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, had on Sunday announced the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of Saturday’s governorship poll.
According to him, the candidate polled a total of 276,298 votes to defeat the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which scored 262,383.
Addressing newsmen on Thursday, the Secretary of API, Olasunkanmi Odukale, described the outcome of the election as tragic and disheartening.
Odukale accused the REC and some Local Government Electoral Officers of rigging and doctoring the results in favour of the APC candidate.
According to him, the election result was declared in total disregard to the margin of lead principle between the winner and his closest rival in the election.
He called on the INEC Chairman, Prof Yakubu Mahmood to put the impunity in check and save the nation’s democracy from annihilation.
The Secretary also called for a rerun in areas where elections were disrupted in the Saturday gubernatorial poll in accordance with the dictates of the law.
Odukale requested that “a rerun be held immediately in areas where elections were disrupted in the Saturday 18th Ogun State gubernatorial and state house of assembly elections, to uphold the rule of law.
“That the REC in Ogun be suspended immediately, and investigations instituted for offences ranging from colluding with others to suppress votes in Sagamu.
“That the Electoral Officers in Ado-Odo/Ota, Ifo, Imeko/Afon, and Obafemi/Owode be suspended immediately and an investigation instituted to determine the extent of their involvement in election results doctoring and rigging.
The group said it believes that “it is only when these issues are addressed accordingly that justice and respect for the rule of law would have been seen to have to have been strictly adhered to.”
He pleaded that: “INEC as an unbiased umpire should, obeys the electoral act and its own guidelines.
“The commission should not be selective about states where laws should be obeyed. After all, it is the same law for all elections across the federation.”
Reacting, Ijalaye said all he did during the election was in accordance with the law.
The Ogun REC said: “They have their own opinion, but all I know is that I did what was in accordance with the law.
“Their request is directed to the Chairman, so the Chairman will take appropriate decisions,” he said.