THE police are now poised to investigate the leaked audio tape on how top members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) , including two ministers and an army general , allegedly plotted to rig the June 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State.
Federal Attorney-General / Minister of Justice Mohammed Bello Adoke(SAN) directed Police Inspector-General Suleiman Abba to conduct the investigation following receipt of a petition on the matter.
Caught on the tape discussing the plot were Mr.Ayo Fayose who was declared winner of the election; ex-Minister of Defence, Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro; Police Affairs Minister Jelili Adesiyan; ex-Minister Caleb Olukolade; the defeated governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State , Otunba Iyiola Omisore and a serving Army General .
Some of those heard on the tape including Fayose, have admitted being part of the meeting where the recording was made.
All of them are expected to come under the police scrutiny in establishing the authenticity of the recording made by Captain Sagir Koli of the 32nd Artillery Brigade of the army.
However, Fayose has immunity under the 1999 Constitution except he willingly offers to subject himself for probe.
Koli later confirmed to Sahara TV and The Nation in separate interviews that he recorded proceeding at the meeting held on the eve of the election to show his resentment at the involvement of the military in politics.
The audio recording and the video of Koli’s interview have gone viral and made available to some foreign missions in the country.
The police investigation is expected to be fast tracked and a source said yesterday that its outcome might determine the confirmation of the renomination of Obanikoro as minister by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Investigation showed that the AGF ordered the investigation after receiving a February 13, 2015 petition from the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress(APC) in Ekiti State, Chief Olajide Awe.
Although Awe specifically asked the AGF to prosecute those implicated, Adoke opted for investigation for now.
Sources said the minister resolved that he could not prosecute anyone involved in the matter without an investigation by a relevant security agency.
An APC source quoted Adoke as saying in his response to Awe that he is “unable to exercise the discretion to prosecute one way or the other without an investigation of the contents of your petition and the accompanying audio recording.
“I have accordingly forwarded the petition and accompanying audio recording to the Inspector-General of Police for investigation.”
Awe had,in his petition,asked for “the prosecution of persons involved in conspiring and perpetrating acts of unsitting the incumbent Governor of Ekiti State in a manner other than envisaged by the constitution.”
He said: “We write to report to you and formally bring to your attention the recent leak of an audio recording by Capt. Sagir Koli of the 32nd Artillery Brigade in Ekiti State.
“On February 8, 2015, an audio recording was released to the general public. This recording captured the voices of Ayo Fayose (the Governor of Ekiti State), Brig- Gen. Aliyu Momoh, who was the commanding officer in charge of soldiers deployed to give security cover for the June 21st, 2014 Ekiti State Gubernatorial election: Senator Iyiola Omisore, Jelili Adesiyan who is the Minister of Police Affairs and Musiliu Obanikoro (the Minister of Defence at that time), Caleb Olulolade and others in a meeting wherein these persons conspired and strategized to rig the June 21, 2014 Ekiti State Gubernatorial Election in which Ayo Fayose finally emerged the winner.
“The import of this audio recording is the revelation of the criminal acts which were planned and perpetrated by these men.
“The above listed persons conspired to tamper with the constitutionally and statutorily laid down procedures for the conduct of election. Section 1(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) provides that; “The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed nor shall any person or group of persons take control of the Government of Nigeria or any part thereof, except in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.”
“During the meeting, strategies and plans to intimidate voters and perform electoral fraud, and other criminal acts, in a bid to take over the government of Ekiti State in a manner contrary to the provisions of the Constitution and other relevant statues, were discussed. Below are the key points of what was discussed at the meeting:
“The use of the military to assist in electoral manipulation contrary to the purpose of the military as provided for by the Constitution.
“The use of stickers for the identification of persons not to be harassed and detained by the military.
Ayo Fayose admitted to copying voting materials provided by INEC.
“The reprimanding of military personnel for detaining members of the Peoples Democratic Party who were engaged in electoral fraud and malpractices.
“Musiliu Obanikoro who was the Minister of State for Defence at that time, clearly stated that he was under instructions from the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria: and also offered inducements, and promises of promotion to the military personnel if the plans discussed were carried out. Some of what he said can be quoted thus: “Look here, you can’t get promotion without me sitting on top of top military council. If I am a happy man tomorrow night, the sky is your limit.”
The APC chairman party said he chose to write the petition to the AGF because the tape had become an embarrassment to the nation,adding: “It is pertinent to point out that the audio recording has gone viral on the internet with people from all over the world listening to it and this is a source of embarrassment and shame to the people and government of Ekiti State and Nigeria as a whole.
“A copy of the recording is hereby forwarded with this letter inclusive of its transcription for our records and information.
“The event that you want to verify the viral spread of this recording, you may visit https://soundcloud.com/saharareporters/secret-meetings-that-led-to-the-rigging-of-ekiti-gubernatorial-for-fa or https://www.youtube.com/watch? or any other site to listen to the audio recording.
“In furtherance of the above highlighted disturbing issues which are in clear violation of the provision of the Nigerian Constitution, the Electoral Act, the Armed Forces Act and the Criminal Code, we , most respectfully urge you to use the instrumentality of your office to investigate this matter with a view to prosecuting and bringing the persons involved to justice for the criminal acts of conspiracy, treason and unduly influencing electoral process.
“This is against the backdrop of the seriousness of the content of the said audio recording and its implication to the forthcoming general elections.
“Please be informed that within 7 days of the receipt of this petition you fail to act, we shall without further recourse to you; proceed to Court to seek an Order of Mandamus compelling you to so act.
“While we appreciate your anticipated cooperation, be assured of our esteemed regards.”
The AGF’s directive to the police came a few days after President Jonathan said in an interview that the audio recording could not be investigated because Captain Koli had not come forward to authenticate it.[The Nation]