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EKITI SIEC CAN’T CONDUCT CREDIBLE LG POLLS – PDP

By Lere Olayinka
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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State has said it has no confidence in the ability of the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) as presently constituted to conduct free, fair and credible Local Government elections.

State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Bola Olu-Ojo, who made this known in a statement issued after a the party's Extended Caucus meeting with the chairmanship and councillorship candidates in Ado-Ekiti today, noted that the State Chairman of the Democratic People's Party (DPP), Alhaji Abduraheem Coker, who is a member of the SIEC had resigned his appointment and urged the remaining four to also follow the path of honour by tendering their resignation letters.

Olu-Ojo said the party was already in court challenging the appointments five people into SIEC, including the Chairman, Mrs Cecilia Bosede Adelusi, who allegedly claimed in the Curriculum Vitae

(CV) she submitted to the State House of Assembly for her screening that she was the Women Leader of ACN in Oye Local Government.

“Other members of the Electoral Commission whose membership we are not comfortable with are Mr. Remi Olowoloba, who allegedly indicated in his CV that he was a leader of ACN in Igede-Ekiti, Irepodun/Ifelodun Local; Mr Soji Oloketuyi, who has been a member of SIEC before and publicly joined ACN on Wednesday, March 26, 2011 and was reported in The Nation newspaper of the following day and Abduraheem Coker; who was the State Chairman of DPP and also gave evidence as Prosecution Witness 45 in favour of ACN in the election petition filed by the party against the PDP.

“Our question therefore is; how can these people conduct free, fair and credible elections?

“The fact remains that the SIEC as it is presently constituted cannot be trusted to conduct a free, fair and credible elections in line with the oath to which the members swore to.

"The situation that we are confronted with can liken to a football match between Arsenal and Manchester United in which all the match officials, including the referee and linesmen are family members of Arsene Wenger, the manager of Arsenal," Olu-Ojo said.

He also disclosed that the party had already written to SIEC, on the illegality of the Local Council elections originally scheduled for Saturday, January 21, 2012, but now postponed till February 4, 2012.

He said; “In the letter dated January 4, 2012, we have called the attention of the SIEC Secretary, Barrister Dele Agbede to the pendency of the suit number HAD/196/2011 that we filed against the composition of SIEC.

“Our position is that, as a legal practitioner and in conformity with the rule of law, the SIEC Secretary and the Defendants jointly and severally are duty bound not to do any act and or take any steps that might foist a fait accompli on the Honourable Court in view of the pending application.

“It is our belief that the ACN-led State government will either do the needful by dissolving the illegal SIEC and reconstitute the commission with non-partisan and people of unquestionable characters as members or wait for the outcome of the matter that is before the court before taking any action on the council elections. Our participation in the Local Government polls will be premised on this.”