Fayemi tackles INEC over PDP’s alleged secret access to electoral materials
Commission’s spokesman declines comment
Lawyers to Ekiti State governor-elect, Kayode Fayemi, have alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has granted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s lawyers access to electoral documents for the July 14 governorship poll without notifying other parties.
A member of Fayemi’s legal team, Tajudeen Akingbolu, said his party has formally written to INEC requesting for the Certified True Copies (CTCs) of the electoral materials, but its request had not been granted.
He said the team requested forms EC8A, EC8B, EC8C, EC8D, EC8E and others, wondering why INEC allegedly allowed PDP lawyers access to the documents without the other parties.
According to him, the normal practice is to allow all parties and their lawyers access to the electoral materials to prevent them from being mutilated or tampered with.
Akingbolu told reporters in Ado-Ekiti yesterday that he had gone to INEC’s office to see the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. AbdulGaniyu Raji, on the development but he was absent.
“Immediately after the election, on July 16 to be precise, we wrote to the REC to request CTCs of forms EC8A, EC8B, EC8C, EC8D, EC8E and other documents used for the election but ump till now, we have not been granted access to the documents.
“This is my third time of coming here, but we got information that the PDP has come here and was given access to the documents. We were reliably informed that INEC has opened the store where the documents were kept without notifying us,” he said.
Akingbolu stressed that for any document to be released, all parties must be available and every other party must be present.
“We don’t want a situation where electoral materials, particularly ballot papers, will be mutilated, tampered with or destroyed. They can be thumb-printed again to make them look like they are void.
“That is why we want INEC to exercise caution over this issue. We know the people we are dealing with. So, we don’t want to take any chances at all and we don’t want to be put on the defensive,” he added.
When contacted, INEC spokesman, Taiwo Gbadegesin, declined comments on the matter saying: “Only the REC can speak on the development.”