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S’West APC vice-chairman reveals ‘how Ondo primary was rigged’

Pius Akinyelure, vice-chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the south-west, says he knows how the party’s governorship primary in Ondo state was “rigged”.

Akinyelure accused John Oyegun, chairman of the party; Mala Buni, national secretary; and Osita Izunaso, national organising secretary, of conspiracy.

He said after tampering with the delegates’ lists, three lists were released in circulation.

Akinyerule alleged that Izunaso single-handedly removed, added or substituted names on the initial list and circulated it to the party’s 24 aspirants, leading to the emergence of a second list that was altered in favour of Rotimi Akeredolu, who eventually emerged winner of the exercise.

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He said Izunaso’s action enjoyed the support of Oyegun and Buni.

Akinyerule accused the trio of using the national working committee (NWC) meetings to usurp powers and unilaterally take decisions that their offices did not empower them to take.

“The national organising secretary confirmed to the national working committee meeting of Monday 19th September 2016 that he actually received objections from some of the aspirants as to the delegates list. Then he unilaterally made the adjustments as he deemed fit,” he said in a statement.

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“It is emphasised that the national organising secretary performed these adjustments without recourse or reference to the national working committee. The national working committee was not appraised of his actions before the primary. The national organising secretary then issued this altered list to the primary election committee for use in the conduct of the election.

“This altered list became available to some of the aspirants in the early hours of the Election Day (3rd September 2016) when the election process was about to commence. Chief Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, and three other aspirants protested and raised objections as to the delegate list to the Election Committee. However, committee members could not address as it was not within their competence to do so.

“They went ahead with the conduct the election.  After the declaration of the results of the election by the election committee, three aspirants petitioned the election appeal committee alleging discrepancies and the alteration of the delegates list provided to them by the election committee and other irregularities.

“Consequent on the above, the national working committee (NWC) of the party received both the election committee and the election appeal committee’s reports, which were tabled at the NWC meeting of Monday 19th September 2016.”

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Akeredolu was declared winner of the primary, before a panel invalidated the result. However, the panel was itself overruled by the NWC.

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