Segun Oni

•I’m not afraid — REC

By Rotimi Ojomoyela

THE Social Democratic Party, SDP, governorship candidate in Ekiti State in the June 18 election, Mr Segun Oni, yesterday, sued the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ekiti, Dr Adeniran Tela, for allegedly flouting the Tribunal’s order.

Oni said the suit was filed against the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for allegedly violating the order of the Election Petitions Tribunal, availing him unfettered access to election materials used in the conduct of the just concluded election.

In the same vein, Oni, in a separate petition dated 29th August 2022 and addressed to INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, accused the REC of deliberating and trying to frustrate his case at the Tribunal.

Addressing newsmen in Ado Ekiti, on behalf of the legal team, Mr Owoseeni Ajayi, said they took the action to challenge Tela’s directive to Oni to approach the INEC office in Abuja, rather than Ado-Ekiti, to get election materials to prosecute his case.

Ajayi said: “Following the filing of our petition, we requested some documents to prosecute our case. We also made the case to inspect some election materials, which the Tribunal granted.

“We were taken aback when a letter dated 23rd August 2022 personally signed by REC and addressed to the respondent said the party /counsel should write to INEC headquarters, Abuja for the documents/materials as stated in the court order.

“This letter was most uninformed and contemptuous of the court for the fact that in the meeting held with parties on August 22, 2022, by REC, there was no discussion about the parties writing to INEC headquarters, Abuja because we purely acted on court order.

“Inspection of election materials was never done in Abuja, but at the state head office. It is therefore contemptuous for the REC to vary the order of the Tribunal by instructing parties to write to the INEC office, Abuja. This was strange, unlawful and beyond understanding. It has never happened anywhere.

“It is, therefore, clear that the REC was acting a script of impunity to frustrate the Petitioner’s case. Nigerians must take note of this dubious act of INEC’s attempt to derail democracy in Ekiti. The opposition parties are also entitled to their rights under democracy.”

I’m not afraid of anything—REC

Faulting the allegations, the REC said he has nothing to fear over the suit, saying the commission and its staff had been fair to all parties, including the SDP that had been raising all manners of accusations against him. 

Tela said: “I am not afraid of anything, because we are following the law. I have even directed all our staff to stay away from politics, so I have no reason to be partisan. Ours is to conduct an election and the June 18 poll was the best in history. It has earned us accolades and awards.

“I am using this time to inform all parties that INEC staff in Ekiti are not partisan and have no interest in this petition. But whoever that will get any document from us must be ready to follow all legal procedures.”

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