By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti
Ahead of the commencement of legal fireworks on the recently held Ekiti state gubernatorial poll, counsels to the Governor-elect, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, have alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has granted the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) lawyers access to electoral documents used for election without notifying other parties.
It would be recalled that Ekiti governorship poll was conducted on July 14, this year by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) amidst unprecedented heavy security presence.
A member of Fayemi’s legal team, Mr. Tajudeen Akingbolu, said his
party has formally written to INEC requesting for the Certified True
Copies (CTCs) of the electoral documents which had not been granted.
Akingbolu said the documents requested include Forms EC8A, EC8B, EC8C,EC8D, EC8E among others, wondering why INEC had allegedly allowed PDP lawyers access to the documents without the knowledge of other parties.
According to him, the normal practice is that when a party has been given access to electoral documents, other parties must be notified and their lawyers must be present to prevent any of the documents from being mutilated or tampered with.
Akingbolu who spoke with reporters in Ado-Ekiti,the Ekiti state capital on Thursday said he had gone to INEC office to see the Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC), Prof. AbdulGaniy Raji,on the development but was told that he
was not on seat.
When contacted, INEC spokesman, Mr. Taiwo Gbadegesin, declined
comments on the matter saying “only the REC can speak on the
Akingbolu said: “Immediately after the election was conducted, July 16
to be precise, we wrote an application to the REC to the effect that we need CTCs of Forms EC8A, EC8B, EC8C, EC8D, EC8E and other documents used for the conduct of the election but ump till now, we have not been granted access to those documents.
“This is my third time of coming here but we heard scary information
this morning that our adversary, that is PDP, have come here and has
been given access to those documents.
“We were reliably informed that they (INEC) has opened the store where these documents are kept for them without putting us on notice.
“That is why we want to sound a note of warning that, for any document to be released at all, every party must be available and every other party must be on ground and present.
“We don’t want a situation whereby electoral materials, particularly
the ballot papers, will be mutilated, tampered with or destroyed. They
can be thumb-printed again to make them look as if they are void.
“That is why we want to warn INEC to be on the side of caution on this
issue. We know the character of the people we are dealing with, we
don’t want to take any chances at all and we don’t want to be put on
“We heard from a very reliable source that they have been having
access to the documents since last week. In a situation in which the
other party is not given access it looks somehow.
“I went to REC’s office but I learnt he is not available and I have to come out and wait for him. That is not the practice anywhere in the world.”