The Ondo State Resident Electoral Commissioner has hinted that the Independent National Electoral Commission had a report which showed that the Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, had “his hands soiled” during the April 5 Ilaje/Ese-Odo by-election.
Speaking at a stakeholder meeting held in Akure on Tuesday and attended by political parties and security agencies, at the instance of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Orebiyi blamed politicians for the crisis witnessed during the Ilaje/Ese-Odo by-election, saying that it was their refusal to adhere strictly to the code of conduct of the election that resulted in the inconclusiveness of the election.
“We are aware of how Obanikoro even soiled his hands obstructing the electoral process. You can quote me anywhere. You can quote me anywhere…One of our officers was almost lynched by the people because they mistook him for Obanikoro. We know what happened and you can quote me anywhere.” Orebiyi said.
The REC also noted that election did not take place in about 59 units, with over 28,000 registered voters.
The meeting, which began on a very smooth note at 12pm at the INEC office at Alagbaka and attended by political parties and the security agencies, almost degenerated into serious fighting when participants unsuccessfully attempted to outdo one another in a shouting match.
Members of the PDP at the meeting were angered by the statement, saying they took exceptions to the assertions of the REC.
Orebiyi responded, “Let the Minister of State for Defence defend himself let him defend himself.”
He noted that politicians did not only put the lives of the electoral officials at risk, but also forced them to collect money.
“One of them brought and showed us N8,000 he was forced to collect,” he said.
Additional Reports from PUNCHNG.COM