Ondo election: INEC unfair to Jegede – Mimiko

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Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo state, Friday said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has not been fair to the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr.SAN.

The governor said the commission is attempting to foist injustice on the people's of the state by insisting to go ahead with the election.

Mimiko, who personally addressed a press conference said the PDP is yet to have agents for the poll.

It will be recalled that the Appellate court on Thursday declared Jegede the authentic PDP candidate by dismissing the ruling of the lower court, which earlier directed the INEC to recognise Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim as the party candidate.

Mimiko also disclosed that the Commission has not releases the collation tags for Ward Collation officers for PDP Ward agents.

He wondered how INEC expects the PDP candidate to campaign round the local governments, raise money for the elections and also screen his agents.

The governor alleged that efforts have been concerted by INEC and forces within the APC to prevent the emergence of a credible and electable candidate for the PDP in the state.

Mimiko further disclosed that the Voters Register which should have been giving to the candidate was just released 48 hours to the election, contrary to Electoral Law which stipulated a 30 days to the poll.

According to the governor, the ungodly process started when INEC, in flagrant disregard of extant laws governing elections, removed the name of Eyitayo Jegede on the basis of a Justice Okon Abang order that has since been declared as a fraud by the Supreme Court.

His words: "We wondered why INEC could remove the name of a man who emerged from a party primary that was conducted in a free, fair and open environment and by legitimate organs of the party, where INEC itself was represented, with another from a process that is illegal, and by people not known to law and logic.

"INEC discarded all legal advice not to substitute Eyitayo Jegede by its own chosen consortium of lawyers.

"Several other hurdles were placed on the ways of the PDP candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, to the extent that he did not become a candidate until about 48hrs to election, on the directive of the Court of Appeal.

"INEC did not release the list of voters register to the PDP until yesterday, in clear infraction of its own laws and against its advertised 'Time Table and Schedule of Activities" for the Ondo election.

"INEC refused to publish Eyitayo Jegede's name for 30 days as stipulated in Section 34 of the Electoral Act 2010.

"INEC denied Eyitayo Jegede the right to submit his Party agents' list at least 7 days before the election as stipulated in Section 45 of the Electoral Act 2010 among many others. As we speak, collation tags for Ward Collation officers are not available for PDP Ward agents!

"More than the above, the agents on INEC list are agents submitted by a man, already aptly described by the courts as an impostor, who has also openly showed he is working as a fifth columnist in the Ondo election.

"Every resident of Ondo State knows we are free and fair people who however abhor impunity and open rape of justice. We shall not take this!

"In this instance, injustice stares us in the face and we are about being treated like slaves and a conquered people in our own country.

"INEC is being forced to subvert its processes, and imperil the Ondo election. The team it sent to Edo, which it is sending to Ondo is peopled by rabid supporters of APC who have displayed their brazen disdain for justice and fair play in the Edo election.

While calling on the people of the state to be vigilant and insist on the sanctity of the ballot, Mimiko urged not allow any alteration of result either at the Ward Collation Centre or anywhere along the line.

The governor said, "We are a proud people, we can make our choices for the good of our State. We need no manipulation of any kind to exercise our inalienable right to choose our leaders. We also do not want anything to remind us of the inglorious past of violence and bloodshed precipitated by injustice and impunity.

"As we make the sacred choice of electing a worthy person into the seat of Governor in our State, we must exercise the greatest level of diligence and vigilance. I urge you all to vote and defend your votes. Your vote is your power, use it wisely and protect it jealously".

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