INEC Commissioner demands public apology over rigging allegations in Ekiti

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While President Muhammadu Buhari urged losers at the Ekiti State governorship election to be gallant in conceding defeat and use constitutional means to settle whatever grievances they may have rather than resort to self-help, the National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mrs. Amina Zakari, has other demands.

In her response to allegations of corruption, Mrs. Zakari requested, through a legal note to the Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, that a public apology should be tendered in her favor on national newspapers within 48 hours, Sahara Reporters confirmed.

In a letter written by her lawyers,  Ubong Akpan Chambers, Zakari said Fayose’s allegation that she was working with All Progressives Congress (APC) and Kayode Fayemi, the just declared winner of the 2018 Ekiti governorship election, has damaged her health, career and public reputation.

On July 2, Fayose had alleged that Zakari and four other INEC officials — Mr Kenneth Ukeagu, Director of Procurement Department; Messrs Paschal Uwaenwe and Abdulrazaq Yusuf, both deputy directors in Information and Communications Technology Department; and Mr Abdulrasak Agboola (Deputy Director (ICT) — were working with the APC and Fayemi to rig the election.

He also accused the Police and the Department of State Services (DSS) of reassigning the security aides of Fayemi to Ekiti State for the purpose of rigging the just concluded election.

Zakari’s lawyers, however, said the allegations were “scurrilous falsehood” and have had negative effect on their client’s health, career and family life.

The representative attorneys stated that Fayose is “a Christian and a family man first before being a politician or governor of Ekiti State”.

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Image: Amina Zakari

“You cannot possibly think it excusable on any grounds, other than deliberate viciousness, that a governor of a state can legitimately descend to labeling a mother, wife and sister of his fellow beings, a criminal of such astounding magnitude.

“What makes it worse than defamation is the incredible injurious falsehood you inflicted on our client, in her work and public service. Mrs Zakari has been inundated with calls from family, friends and colleagues worldwide.”

The INEC boss therefore demanded a written apology by the governor be published in all national newspapers within 48 hours and a public retractions of all the allegations contained in all publications that earlier reported it.