A Lagos based lawyer, Mr. Kabir Akingbolu, has petitioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to prosecute Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose and his Deputy, Prof Kolapo Olusola Eleka, for alleged electoral offences.
Akingbolu alleged that Fayose and Eleka, alongside the Acting Chairman of the Ekiti State Broadcasting Corporation, Mr. Lere Olayinka, committed at least 10 electoral offences during the June 14 governorship election in Ekiti State.
He made the claims in an August 6 letter to INEC chairman Prof Mahmood Yakubu.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Dr Kayode Fayemi, polled 197,459 votes in the election to beat Eleka of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 178,121 votes.
The lawyer urged INEC to prosecute the trio in line with Section 150 of the Electoral Act, 2010 as this “will go a long way to curb official impunity during elections.”
Akingbolu noted that because Fayose and Eleka had constitutional immunity from prosecution until their tenure expires in October, investigation of the “serious electoral offences” ought to commence without delay.
He threatened to apply to the Federal High Court for an order of Mandamus to compel INEC to carry out its “statutory duty forthwith”, if it “fails or refuses to commence the investigation of the serious electoral offences disclosed in the petition before August 15.
Akingbolu said: “Throughout the campaign the trio campaigned against Dr. Kayode Fayemi and urged voters not to vote for him in contravention of Section 129(c) of the Electoral Act.
“The campaign of the trio was tainted with abusive language, which injured religious, ethnic and sectional feelings contrary to Section 95(1) of the Electoral Act.
“The trio threatened to make use of force and violence in contravention of Section 131(a) of the Electoral Act.”
According to him, the trio prevented all government aspirants apart from Prof Eleka the free use of the Ekiti State Radio and Television station in contravention of Section 131(d) of the Electoral Act.
In another instance, he claimed that Fayose paid the sum of N3, 000 to every civil servant on Friday June 13; with intent that such money shall be expended on bribing voters to vote for Prof Eleka.
Akingbolu added: “The Governor campaigned for Professor Kolapo Eleka in the Governor’s lodge on June 14, 2018 within 24 hours prior to the polling day in contravention of Section 99 (1) of the Electoral Act, 2010.
“They prevented the Ekiti State Broadcasting Corporation from allotting equal coverage and conspicuity to all political parties in contravention of Section 100 (5) of the Electoral Act 2010.
“In the morning of June 14, 2018 they assembled a crowd at the Ekiti State Governor’s Lodge where they prayed and persuaded voters to vote for Professor Kolapo Eleka
“They caused the Ekiti State Broadcasting Corporation to broadcast news which opposed the candidature of Dr. Kayode Fayemi in contravention of Section 101(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010.
“Before the official declaration of the results of the governorship election by the Returning Officer they announced an election result which they knew to be false and thereby declared Professor Kolapo Eleka as the Governor Elect of Ekiti State on June 15, 2018 in contravention of Section 123(4) of the Electoral Act.”