The Peoples Democratic Party has raised the alarm over alleged plots by a national commissioner at the Independent National Electoral Commission and two directors to manipulate the system and rig the July 14 Ekiti governorship election in favour of the All Progressives Congress.
INEC had, however, dismissed the allegation.
The party said its investigation revealed that two INEC directors (names withheld) had allegedly been holding meetings with the APC candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, and Ondo State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, to perfect their alleged plot to rig the election.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said in a statement in Abuja on Thursday, that the PDP was aware of how the INEC directors had allegedly been meeting with Fayemi, Akeredolu and other APC leaders at the Ondo State Government House, Akure, in the last three weeks, on the directives of the commissioner as well as details of their plot to manipulate the process and rig the election for the APC.
He said, “The party (PDP) is also privy to the game plan of the APC to use INEC’s Information and Communications Technology Department to preload card readers and input false results through e-collation while also using different sets of Forms EC8A to enter fake results in over 503 polling units to authenticate the fake e-collation results.
“The PDP wants Nigerians to note INEC’s clandestine activities, particularly those of the national commissioner, who is fast earning notoriety in election rigging, as well as the manipulations going on under Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who appears helpless in the face of the machination of the commissioners and directors of the commission.
“Meanwhile, this same commissioner was reportedly sighted in Lagos last Wednesday where she allegedly held a meeting with some top functionaries of the APC.”
Ologbondiyan alleged further that investigations revealed that one of the officers of the commission had allegedly been positioned to act as a courier of huge sums of money to be paid to INEC officials that he said would perpetrate the rigging.
Ologbondiyan added, “The PDP, in no equivocal terms, therefore, demands that the commissioner and the gang must not play any active role in the Ekiti election. The commissioner must stay away from Ekiti State as there is no way we can have a free, fair and credible election.”
However, in its reaction, the commission denied the allegation by the PDP, adding that none of its officers had been having any secret meeting with officials of any political party.
A spokesman for the chairman of the commission, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, said, “INEC has never met secretly with officials or leaders of any political party. The commission meets quarterly with all the political parties under the aegis of the Inter-Party Consultative Committee.
“Political party leaders or officials are also free to request for a meeting with the commission and when such written requests are received, reviewed and approved, INEC Chairman and all National Commissioners meet with party officials. The public should disregard the unsubstantiated allegation.”