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General News of Wednesday, 22 June 2022


2022: Oyetola urges EFCC to investigate Adeleke, PDP over voters’ inducement

Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola

The Re-election Campaign Council (RCC) of the Osun Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to investigate the candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Ademola Adeleke, over his comment that he would induce voters before and during the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state.

The RCC said that it is pertinent to draw the attention of the EFCC to the unguarded comment in order to challenge Adeleke and the PDP to explain what he meant by that he had arrived with hard currencies to prosecute the election and to approach it “fire for fire.”

Addressing a press conference at the Ilerioluwa Campaign Office yesterday, the Director-General of the Osun APC Campaign Council, Senator Ajibola Basiru, argued that for an individual to have declared publicly that he would financially induce the electorate needed to be investigated and prosecuted in order to stop him from compromising the electoral process and fledgling democracy.

Basiru called on the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies to beam their searchlight on the matter and summon the PDP candidate for a thorough investigation and questioning to unravel what he meant that he has brought pounds, dollars, euros and other hard currencies to buy vote.

He said: “I expected the EFCC to have invited Senator Ademola Adeleke to give an account of what he meant by coming to the state with hard currencies for the Osun State guber election.

“Certainly, inducement of voters is a great offence. So, for Senator Adeleke to manifestly declare an intention to induce voters warrants criminal investigation by EFCC.

“EFCC should summon him for investigation on what he meant that he has brought pounds, dollars, euros and other hard currencies to buy vote.

“That clearly is a manifest intention to commit the offence of inducement of voters which is clearly an electoral offence under the Nigerian law.”

The APC’s campaign council also sent a strong warning to the PDP and its candidate to desist from the campaign of acrimony that had degenerated into violent attack on the members and loyalists of the ruling party since Adeleke has publicly declared his readiness to engage in “fire-for-fire” approach.

Basiru recalled some of the violent attacks on the party’s loyalists and said that it has become imperative to intimate the general public with the clandestine move by the opposition PDP to kill, maim and harass leading figures in the Osun State Government and the APC, using political thugs, and then turn round to accuse the APC, its government and sympathisers as the brain behind the wicked act.

He said: “You will recall that on Friday, May 16, 2022, the candidate of the party, Sen. Jackson Ademola Adeleke, at a rally in Osogbo, publicly proclaimed, among other things, that he had arrived with Pounds Sterling, Dollars and other hard currencies to bribe the good people of Osun in the days leading to the election and on the election day. He went further to say that this time around he would unleash violence and terror on the state. He insisted that this time around, it is ‘fire-for-fire.’

“We promptly reacted by cautioning him and letting him know that Osun people are not commodities waiting to be purchased off the shelf of any supermarket. These exchanges are well documented by both the conventional and digital media. We had thought he would heed our advice to play by the rule and call off the demons he intended to unleash on our people. But alas, a leopard will never change its spot.

“Rather than heed our call, what followed was large-scale destruction of our campaign billboards and those of our candidate across the state, especially in the state capital. We have both the video and pictorial documentation of the large-scale destruction carried out by the PDP and its agents.

“In the early hours of June 9, 2022, we got an intelligence that a certain known political thug in the state, by the name Mr Olamilekan Oyeyemi Ajagungbade, otherwise known as ‘Emir’, had been contracted by the PDP to carry out the destruction as part of the conditions to sign him on for further destructive operations in the state ahead of the elections.

“And by the next day, the destruction began. By Sunday, June 12, 2022, ‘Emir’ moved to the PDP secretariat to dislodge another set of hoodlums that had been working for the PDP before his arrival. This led to a shootout between the two groups, as guns, machetes and other dangerous weapons were freely used. Again, we have video documentary evidence of what transpired.”

Basiru reiterated the commitment of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola to continue to maintain peace and sustain the status of Osun State as the most peaceful state in Nigeria regardless of any form of security threat from any quarter.

He said: “For the avoidance of doubt, our candidate does not believe in violence and you journalists seated here this evening can attest to that fact.”