REC gives Kwara PDP 48 hours to apologise or risk court action for alleged defamation
The Kwara State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Garuba Attahiru Madami, has given the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state 48 hours to tender a public apology, widely circulated in the media for defamation and assassination of his character and integrity, saying he was ready to take legal action after the ultimatum.
Madami was reacting to what he called “unfounded, baseless accusation in a statement released by the Publicity Secretary of the PDP Tunji Morounfoye, last week Thursday.
According to the REC, his integrity had been put to test in the three elections he had conducted since his assumption of duty in the state and had demonstrated his sincerity, openness and transparency in these elections.
His conduct of the 2019 general election he said, was adjudged by Kwarans, Domestic and Foreign Observers as free, fair and transparent.
He said he had guided his integrity for well over 40 years, wondering where PDP got “the baseless, pack of lies” heaped on him.
It would be recalled the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State in a release said it uncovered a grant plot by the REC to sell victory for the ruling All Progressive Party and the sitting governor, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq in the 2023 general elections because of his morbid hatred for former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki.
The party alleged that the REC in an outburst during a management meeting expressed his hatred for Saraki, charging that he had compromised his position and was unfit to umpire the coming election
Morounfoye, who signed the statement made ostensibly far-reaching allegations that there had been clandestine meetings between the REC and the executive Governor of Kwara state where N300m changed hands and, “word about this conspiracy got out because the REC has refused to “carry-along” his INEC team in his greed.”
“Adding to the above revelations was the shocking outburst credited to the compromised REC, Mr. Garuba Mandami during a management meeting, where he is alleged to have said: “I totally hate Saraki and I will do anything in my power to stop him in Kwara state”.
“This unfortunate confession is a pointer to his morbid obsession with illegality and plot to tamper with the democratic process and procure an illegal electoral advantage for the APC and Mal. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, the statement added.
The party also alleged that the REC brought in voter registration machines from INEC’s office in Niger state “in what is a clear attempt to assist the APC and Mal Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq in their dark schemes for the 2023 general elections.
“According to these leaks, their sinister and diabolical targets are Baruten, Ilorin West and Asa Local Government Areas. The idea is to use these imported machines to register only APC party voters in the newly created polling units where there are between 0-50 registered voters in these three Local Government Area.
“We expected the REC to officially announce the arrival of such machines in a press conference to all political parties if he was an unbiased umpire. However, he chose to only inform the APC.
We at the PDP are hereby calling on all security agencies and anti-graft agencies to investigate this planned electoral heist. We are also calling on the INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu to please investigate this matter. We do not think, from all facts on the ground, that the Kwara state REC intends to conduct free and fair elections in 2023. It is in this vein that we ask that the Kwara state REC, Mr Garuba Madami be redeployed from Kwara state.
“The normal unwritten norm is that a REC can only conduct a single electoral cycle in a location before they are posted to another state. That is before their mandatory tenure expires.
We again call on all security agencies, anti-graft agencies and all political parties to investigate our claims.
“Kwarans want to have a free, fair and peaceful electoral process in Kwara state, come 2023. We certainly do not want an election tainted by an allegedly biased umpire like Mr Garuba Madami at the helm of the affairs in INEC during the 2023 Electoral cycle in Kwara State.”
The REC said the accusation of N300 million is unfounded, baseless, pack of lies and demanded proof of the allegations/evidence
He also demanded a “prove in any of the management meetings I said such words and who told them, I said to provide evidence”
On the hatred for Saraki, he said: “Why should I hate Saraki, or anyone else?
“There are minutes of each management meeting and there is nowhere Saraki or anybody else name was mentioned.
He also said the accusation of IVED machine “is totally untrue and a figment of their imagination”
Madami gave the party 48 hours to retract the statement and apologize failing which he would take legal action against it.
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