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Military Panel: Fayose accuses FG of witch-hunt

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*Enquiry to serve sentimental interest — EKITI PDP

By Dapo Akinrefon & Rotimi Ojomoyela

Lagos—Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State yesterday accused the Federal Government of plans to use a military panel to upturn his victory.

Addressing newsmen in Lagos, Fayose, who faulted the military panel headed by Maj-Gen Adeniyi Oyebade to look at the roles of the military in the June 21 governorship election in Ekiti said that “The military report holds no water in law.”

The Nigeria Army constituted a Board of Inquiry, BoI, to investigate the alleged involvement of its personnel at last year’s governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states.

Also, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ekiti State said that it had been vindicated that the military panel on Ekiti and Osun states was set up for sentimental interest rather than a guide to democratic practice in Nigeria.”

Fayose said; “You will recall that after I won the election, there was this effort to stop the swearing-in that generated a lot of controversy, even before and after the elections. There was one story of photo-chronic military rigging and all that. You will equally recall that there were four elections after mine, the presidential, National Assembly and State House of Assembly elections, they all followed the same pattern even when military men were not enough for the whole country. They followed the same pattern and it is good for anybody to complain about the elections but when you are not on ground, you cannot win an elections. After Dr. Kayode Fayemi conceded, the party still went ahead to challenge it up to the Supreme Court and we still won.”

Faulting the Army report, he said “I am a clean person but what they are doing now is that they went to Kaduna, after all submissions, they now want to say the military rigged Ekiti election. They are releasing their report very soon and knowing full well that military report holds no water in law, the Attorney-General would want that report reviewed and approach the Supreme Court to review their position, which is not known in law.”

He, however, maintained that the Supreme Court had laid to rest the controversy surrounding his victory at the election.

“The Supreme Court dealt properly with the issue of impeachment and it did not raise issues of whether the elections were won or not. It talked about the issue of certificate that was raised in 2002 and it equally raised the issue of non-qualification as a result of impeachment. The court dealt with it all and it was a landmark judgement already reported in all law journals.

“An online newspaper generated a report of a conversation and I came out to say that I was part of the conversation, I was the complainant in that conversation. If you now set up a military committee to look into the Ekiti and Osun elections that was adjudged to be free and fair, the Americans and international observers made it very clear that they recommend Ekiti elections for subsequent elections.

“To my surprise, I heard they set up a panel to look into activities of some military men during the elections in Ekiti and Osun, that is their choice. To fulfil all righteousness, I sent my Attorney-General and Commissioner for Information to give them information that they may not have. For instance they might not be privy to the observers’ report. If the international committee says the elections were free and fair, that the military did well, the military will be on their own if they indict their personnel because of politics.

“Above all, I have been very critical of this government and I will continue to be critical of any government in Nigeria because democracy is about opposition and the government in power. I have no regrets and I am not sorry about my actions. I did not start after Buhari’s election, I started before the elections. I actually told Nigerians not to vote for him (Buhari.) I placed advertorials and I am still not sorry for that, I still maintain my stand because I envisaged this disobedience to court orders and dictatorship.”

Panel set up for sentimental interest — Ekiti PDP

The PDP in Ekiti State said if the military panel set up on Ekiti and Osun state election should not be taken as mere witch-hunt, the alleged the involvement of military in ballot snatching and violence that rocked the Bayelsa governorship election, which eventually rendered it inconclusive must be probed.

The party said it had been vindicated that the military panel on Ekiti and Osun states was set up on sentimental interest rather than a guide to democratic practice in Nigeria with the participation of the same military in the election materials snatching, thumb-printing and killing of PDP members that marred the Bayesa State governorship election.

The State Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Jackson Adebayo, said in a statement that President Buhari should prove to Nigerians his sincerity on free and fair elections by asking the military why its men aided the All Progressive Congress (APC) to rig election in the Southern Ijaw Local government area of Bayelsa State, after the military panel on Ekiti and Osun election was put up to probe the activities of its men in election matters.

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