A former Secretary of the Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr. Temitope Aluko, has alleged that former President Goodluck Jonathan gave Governor Ayo Fayose N4.7bn cash to prosecute the June 21, 2014 governorship election in the state.
Aluko said the money was used to defeat the then Governor of the state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who was the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress.
Aluko, who spoke with reporters in Abuja on Sunday, also revealed how the PDP rigged the governorship election.
Aluko, who said he was part of the team that prosecuted the election, added that he was the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee for the Fayose Campaign Organisation.
He explained that he handled the waiver Fayose got from the PDP at the national level to enable him to qualify to take part in the governorship primary.
To buttress the roles he played in the emergence of Fayose, Aluko said he delivered the congresses that produced Fayose and was also the governor’s principal witness at the Election Petitions Tribunal.
He said Jonathan initially gave Fayose $2m in March 2014 for the primary election, pointing out that this money was collected at the NNPC Towers, Abuja.
Aluko said, “It was about $35m, which is about N4.7bn he gave us for the real election and for the primaries, he released $2m to Fayose. I have details of all I am saying and I was present when they brought the money and it was Senator Musiliu Obanikoro that brought the money, the $35m, which he delivered to Fayose at Spotless Hotel.
“I can name eight people that were there. We were all there because he said he would want us to take delivery so that there will be transparency and accountability.
“Let me just stop there for now, but I am just trying to say that both the security and the funding came from the Presidency and even the primaries money we collected at the NNPC Towers in Abuja here and they took $300,000 from the $2m for courier which was on Monday, 23rd of March 2014 and we took it to Prince and Princess, Fayose’s house, but the N4.7bn came into Ekiti on June 17, 2014.”
He said the $35m was “taken to a bureau de change in Onitsha where it was converted to N4.7bn.”
In his reaction on Sunday, Fayose said he would not take issue with Aluko because he was (Aluko) bitter, adding that he got money from different sources.
He, however, did not deny that the former President gave him the amount being alleged by his accuser.
Fayose’s Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Mr. Lere Olayinka, said Aluko was already beclouded by his desperation to seek revenge against Fayose because of the governor’s refusal to make him his Chief of Staff, such that he (Aluko) was not mindful of committing the criminal offence of perjury.
“As per his claim that $37m was given to the governor for the election, the governor got financial support from various sources as it is usual of anyone contesting election and it is not for us to begin to advertise in the media the level of support the governor received from individuals, corporate organisations or groups.
“However, if money belonging to the APC is missing and they suspect that the money was stolen by Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to fund Ekiti State governorship election, they can approach the EFCC.”
The governor’s aide asked whether it was also soldiers that rigged the 2015 presidential, senatorial, House of Representatives and state House of Assembly elections that the APC lost in Ekiti.
He said, “For Aluko to be taken seriously, he must first have to report himself to the police to be tried for perjury and committed to prison for three years, since what he is now saying is different from what he said under oath at the election tribunal, being the only witness called by the PDP and Fayose.
“If after giving evidence under oath at the tribunal that the election was free, fair and credible and that security agents, including soldiers, performed their duties creditably well, saying something else more than one year after is admittance by Aluko himself that he is not a stable character.
“They will probably need to pay INEC to tell Nigerians that an election it conducted, in which an incumbent governor lost in his own local government, was not credible.”
Giving an insight into how the military and other security agencies were drafted into the Ekiti election, Aluko said the Ekiti PDP and Fayose first ensured that the headship of the security apparatus in Nigeria was changed.
He said that the former President agreed with Fayose on the need to change the leadership of the nation’s security apparatus because of his desperation to win the presidential election.
Aluko added that Jonathan quickly summoned a security meeting at the Presidential Villa for the purpose of the election.
He said, “Those at the meeting were the former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh; then Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah; and a former National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu.
“Others included Fayose, Senator Iyiola Omisore, then Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan and Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro.
“At that meeting, the former President made it clear to the ex-Chief of Defence Staff that Fayose would stand for him (as Commander-in-Chief) in terms of providing security for the election.”
According to Aluko, Jonathan’s directive made the military chiefs to take orders from Fayose throughout the duration of the election.
Aluko said Fayose then approached the former Commander of the Army Brigade in Akure, one Brig. Gen. Dikko to take charge of the election for the PDP.
But Dikko, he said, rejected the proposal, adding that the army officer “stated bluntly that he would not be available for such operation.”
“So, Fayose sponsored a petition against him which led to his replacement with another officer (name withheld) who was amenable to our plans.”
This, he said, made it easy for the PDP to use soldiers to suppress the opposition APC.
“We went into the election with 1,040 recognised soldiers and another batch of 400 unrecognised soldiers brought from Enugu by a serving senator from the South-East(name withheld).
“In addition, we raised 44 special strike teams brought in Toyota Hilux buses from Abuja and Onitsha. We made special stickers for the vehicles that conveyed members of the strike team and we gave each of them a black handband for identification.
“Each strike team was made up of 10 members headed by a soldier and comprising soldiers, policemen, DSS operatives and Civil Defence corps. They were detailed to attack and arrest prominent APC chieftains in all the local governments.
“We set up anchorage, mainly in residential houses, in every local government where the strike team members collected their welfare and other allowances.
“To encourage the strike team members, we gave them orders to share money and other valuables they could lay their hands on in the houses of the APC chieftains they raided.
“Then we set up detention camps, mainly in primary schools where most of the APC chieftains were detained. Others were detained in police stations where the DPOs were friendly with us. We let them off after the election was over.
“A day to the election, we used the military to block all routes in the local governments and prevented the APC chieftains, including former Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, from coming into Ekiti.
“So, we ensured that no APC chieftain was in sight on election day. We provided polling agents for the APC in most of the polling units so we had no problem getting them to sign election results in the units.
“All these local and foreign observers that described the election as free and fair only witnessed the voting exercise on election day without knowing what transpired before the voting.”
Aluko, who was the Chief Returning Officer and signed the results of the election, said he was fully involved in the plot with Fayose from the very beginning.
According to him, he was forced to divulge the information because Fayose betrayed him, moreover, he said his conscience was disturbing him.
He said, “I am using this medium to apologise to Ekiti people for bringing in someone like Fayose and I have done that at many meetings and I want to stand up to many of those things.
“Before the election, Fayose, Femi Bamishile and I jointly swore with the Holy Bible on a sharing formula after we must have won the election. We agreed that Fayose would be governor, Bamishile his deputy and I, as Chief of Staff.
“But the moment he got into office, Fayose reneged on the agreement and left me in the lurch. More worrisome is the fact that Fayose has derailed from the original Ekiti project we envisaged.”[Punch]