Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti
Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the just held governor ship poll in Ekiti State, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, has alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in Ekiti and Abuja and the election tribunal, were jointly frustrating his efforts to institute legal action against the declaration of All Progressives Congress ‘s Dr. Kayode Fayemi as winner of the poll.
Olusola alleged further that his applications to the INEC for certified true copies of election documents and his application for motion Ex-parte made to the tribunal were being rebuffed despite having fulfilled necessary steps.
He added that the alleged delay in response from both INEC and tribunal are plans to allow time to run against him in instituting the legal action within the legal framework.
Olusola said 10 days had already passed of the 21 days which the law allows him to present his case, urging INEC and the election petition tribunal to expedite action on his two applications and allow the law to take its course.
His words, “We applied for certified true copies of election documents to assist in the preparation and presentation of my petition.
“The application was filed on July 16 to the Ekiti State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Abdulganiyu Raji, and upon approval of the application, we made payment on July 20. Till now, no document has been made available to us by INEC.
“We equally made application for certified true copies of document to the INEC Chairman, Abuja, Professor Mahmoud , on July 17, and upon approval, payment was made on July 18.
“But till date, no document has been made available to us despite our repeated visits o Ekiti INEC office and the national headquarters INEC in Abuja.
It is common knowledge that election petition is time-bound. I have only 21 days within which to present my petition . 10 days have gone already. I have been frustrated enough.
“I therefore make passionate appeal to INEC not to frustrate me further as the damage it has done to me is enough.
“The action of INEC is showing that they are out to frustrate me so that time will completely run against me in line with the expectation of their task masters.
“To further confirm my frustration, I filed a motion Exparte before the tribunal on July 21. Today is July 24, l still do not have an indication as to the date of hearing when ordinarily , Exparte applications in election are taken within 24 hours of filing.”
The Ekiti governorship poll was held on July 14 and on the dawn of July 15 the INEC declared Fayemi as the winner of the poll.
However, elections observers, local and international, had disagreed on the conduct of the poll with majority of them insisting that the poll fell short of international standards and cannot be recommended as template for future polls alleging by that it was marred with high degree of electoral anomalies in form of vote buying, violence and rigging, while a few local observers hold that the poll was free, fair and credible.
When called to react to the allegations by Olusola, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. Abdulganiyu Raji, on the telephone, said: ” I don’t know you and you have not passed through the proper channel to reach me. So come tomorrow morning to my office for my reactions”.
When our reporter told him he could meet him in his office right away, the REC said he was already on his way out of the office and insisted the reporter delay the story till the next day. The reporter however told him he could not delay the report any further.
Meanwhile, a reliable source from INEC which craved anonymity, said the commission in Ekiti was awaiting instructions from the Abuja office before acting on applications submitted by Olusola:
The source said, “We need to follow due process and whatever action we are going to rake has to come from Abuja. We have taken necessary action on Prof. Olusola’s applications and we need approval from the headquarters. That is not to say that we will not attend to him on time.”