Officials of the Department of State Security, DSS, on Tuesday,17 June, 2014 arrested 11 members of People Democratic Party, PDP, in Ekiti State as they were allegedly thumb-printing ballot papers inside a resort centre ahead of the upcoming governorship election holding in the state on Saturday.
Premium Times reports that the PDP members were arrested at Anisulowo Resort in Are Ekiti, a facility belonging to Dipo Anisulowo, the Director General of PDP governorship candidate, Ayo Fayose’s Campaign Organisation, as they prepared ballot papers they allegedly planned to use in rigging the upcoming election in favour PDP.
It was gathered that security operatives deployed to Ekiti on special election duty swooped on the resort after residents of the town alerted them to the movement of strange materials into the facility.
* Incumbent Governor of Ekiti, Kayode Fayemi
Sources informed that when the operatives stormed the location, 22 men were found sitting around a heap of ballot papers, and other election materials.
Eleven of them were arrested and driven to the SSS headquarters in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital, where they are currently being detained. The others reportedly escaped.
Babafemi Ojudu, a Senator, and close associate of Governor Kayode Fayemi (the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, in the election) informed that the men were arrested hours after “some viligant residents raised the alarm that three planes landed in Akure with ballot papers and other election materials which were later loaded into buses and moved to Ekiti”.
* PDP Governorship candidate in Ekiti, Ayo Fayose
An attempt to speak with Mr. Fayose and his associates on the matter was futile as they did not respond to requests for comments.
Also, the SSS Director in Ekiti, a Mr. Tamuno, is yet to reply a text message sent to him when he did not pick his phone when he was called on the matter.
The arrest of the 11 men came four days after the Nigerian military announced it apprehended three persons with a truck laden with outdated election materials in the state.
The Commander, 32 Artillery Brigade, Akure, Ondo State, Aliyu Momoh, a Brigadier General, said the men were caught moving ballot papers from 2008, 2009 and 2011; Independent National Electoral Commission’s reflective jackets; 2014 INEC rubber stamps and pads.
However, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Aliyu Pai, later told Punch Newspapers that the materials were waste papers and had been auctioned by INEC.
The run-up to the June 21 election has been characterised by violent clashes with the major political parties pointing accusing fingers at one another.
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