Oct 24, 2012

Five observer groups condemn Ondo State governorship poll, say results were manipulated


Five of the election Observer groups who monitored the just concluded Ondo State gubernatorial poll on Saturday have condemned the election which declared the incumbent Governor, Olusegun Mimiko the winner.

The group noted that the election was marred with an unprecedented level of election results manipulation, falsification and rigging in the history of Nigeria.

Speaking yesterday to reporters in Akure on behalf of other groups, Dr. Gabriel Nwambu of the Justice Development and Peace Commission [JDPC] said “in Orimolade Grammar School, Okelisa Okeduke, Ogbodu in Ondo West, unit 012 and area code 11, the presiding officer Oguntoye Yekeen, a youth Corps member and Miss Ebiloye Omolade, an Assistant Presiding officer were allegedly seen thumb printing for Labour Party [LP] with a cash of N50,000 each.

He said “The question is where did a youth Corps member, Yekeen and his ally get N50,000 in a polling Unit?”

According to him, “in Owo, two LP Chieftains, Niran Sule, the Commissioner for Special Duties and Mr. Tunji Ojomo Chairman, Caretaker Committee in Owo local government were caught and arrested for illegal possession of six AK 47 riffles of firearms used to commit mayhem and terrorise innocent voters who are member of the PDP.

“This explains the low turnout and subsequent winning of LP in Owo as thousands of voters were disenfranchised.

“At Okitipupa and Idanre, thugs working for LP snatched ballot boxes, harassing voters and opposition parties.

“In Ilaje, a stronghold of the PDP, INEC did not conduct election in two wards and the ad-hoc staff of INEC never showed up.

The election observers noted that on Thursday, `15 youths working for LP were arrested in Akure for thumb printing and stuffing of ballot boxes in an LP Chieftain’s House.

It was noted that report by election observer organizations must be taken seriously in order to save the young democracy from imminent collapse.

Other leaders of Independent Observers at the news conference include Rose Akhigbe of the Network of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria [NCSON], Comrade Sebastime Ekpenyong of Electoral Rights Monitor [ERM] and Ambassador Iwara Okoi of the Transparency Advocacy Centre [TAC]