A group in Oyo State, the Liberation Movement of Nigeria (LMN), has alleged that some officials of the Independent National Election Commission (INEC), connived with one of the candidates in the inconclusive House of Representatives Election for Oluyole Federal Constituency to perpetrate rigging in the election by withholding 49,904 ballot papers.
The group in a statement by its Chairman and Secretary, Comrade Seyi Akintunde and Comrade Segun Akintomide, respectively, said the candidate induced the officials to hold on to some of the ballot papers for the election
It then called on the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, to investigate the matter, stating that some unscrupulous elements in the commission are bent on sweeping the matter under the carpet and declaring a candidate winner without following procedures of electoral laws.
It also cautioned the state Resident Electoral Commissioner not to engage in activities that will affect the integrity of the commission, urging him to prevail on its staff to remain unbiased umpire as stipulated by laws instead of favouritism exhibited by some staff of the commission.
The statement read, “Our preliminary investigations have revealed that the insufficient ballot papers was not an error but deliberate efforts by an INEC official who was bribed by one of the candidates that is desperate to be back in the House of Representatives.
“The ballot papers were given to this candidate to perpetrate fraud and the little ones released during the election were based on pressure from the other candidates.
“We want INEC to explain to the electorate why there were insufficient ballot papers and do justice to the issue. This issue should not be treated lightly as there could be a repeat of the same thing during the gubernatorial and House of Assembly Elections.
“How can completed ballot papers be allotted for Presidential and Senatorial elections but there was a shortfall in the House of Representatives and the elections were held on the same day? This calls for great concern and it should be thoroughly investigated and due action taken to prevent future occurrence,” the group said.
It would be recalled that one of the political parties in the election, through its counsel, Mr Oladipo Olasope, SAN, on Monday, called for the cancellation of results from the Oluyole federal constituency election of the state.
The party in a petition alleged that insufficient ballot papers were allotted to the Federal Constituency for the election held on Saturday.
The party in the petition addressed to the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, said the expected ballot papers for the conduct of the election for the Federal Constituency were supposed to be 130,680 but only 80,766 were provided for the election.