As the day for Ekiti state election is getting close, the indigenes of the state can’t wait to vote for the Candidates of their choice. Operatives of the Department of State Security on Tuesday night
arrested 11 men, believed to be associates of ex-Governor Ayo
Fayose, as they thumb-printed ballot papers ahead of the
governorship election holding in the state Saturday, witnesses and
security officials have told PREMIUM TIMES.
The men were arrested at Anisulowo Resort in Are Ekiti, a facility
belonging to the Director General of the Fayose Campaign
Organisation, Dipo Anisulowo, as they prepared ballot papers they
ostensibly planned to use in rigging the election in favour of Mr.
Fayose, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the
This newspaper understands that the security operatives deployed
to the state on special election duty swooped on the resort after
residents of the town alerted them to the movement of strange
materials into the facility.
When the operatives stormed the location, our sources said, 22
men were found sitting around a heap of ballot papers, and other
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 in
the election) told PREMIUM TIMES 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”.
Mr. Fayose and his associates did not respond to requests for comments. The PDP governorship candidate
did not answer or return calls, just as Mr. Anisulowo, who leads
his campaign. Both individuals are also yet to respond to text
messages sent to them.
The SSS Director in Ekiti, a Mr. Tamuno, also did not answer or
return calls. He is also yet to reply a text message sent to him.
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outdated election materials in the state.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.
“It is approved by the National Commission for the company to
evacuate the obsolete materials to enable us prepare for the
coming election because these are junks that have filled the
store,” he said.
“There is an approval by the National Commission. They are
known to us and they are in no way connected to this election.
They are materials of 2007, 2009 and there is approval for its
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. Matters got to a head about two weeks ago
when mobile police officers shot at the governor of the state, Mr.
Fayemi, and his supporters during a rally in the state capital, Ado-