Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the chairman of Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission, Justice Jide Aladejana, is unfit to conduct elections into the 16 local government areas in the state.
The party berated Governor Kayode Fayemi for appointing Aladejana as the head of the electoral body despite his “tainted integrity”, saying the appointment has created a constitutional burden on the Commission.
In a statement on Thursday in Ado Ekiti by the PDP Publicity Secretary, Mr. Jackson Adebayo, the party queried how a dismissed judge in the State judiciary could be made to superintend over a sensitive body that is supposed to be chaired by people of unquestionable character.
The party said all attempts by Aladejena to overturn his dismissal was overruled by courts at different level, stressing that he is not qualified to occupy such position.
PDP said that Fayemi’s action has shown that he has no regards for democratic consolidation but only preoccupied to cast a pall on the electoral process.
But the SIEC’s Commissioner in charge of Media and Publicity, Chief Soji Oloketuyi, debunked the allegations, describing them as spurious and baseless.
Oloketuyi said claim of Justice Aladejana’s dismissal from the bench coming at a time when elections are few months away was targeted at distracting the commission and detail the electoral process.
The party alleged that many of the members of the SIEC are card- carrying members of the ruling All Progressive Congress.
“It’s unfortunately ridiculous that the Governor could assembled people who are constitutional barred to conduct elections in the State.
“It was on this basis Government Fayemi was stopped to conduct Local government elections in his first term when Oloketuyi membership of SIEC then was proved to be inappropriate because he is a card carrying member of the ruling party which he is till today and also member of the electoral body.
“It is evident he’s deliberately erecting wall of disruption in the way of the election so that he could continue to pocket the allocations to the council in absence of democratically elected officers.
“However we want to assure him that PDP will go into the election with all seriousness unlike the coward Party that decided to boycott the previous Local government elections in the State”.
SEIC Commissioner said: “To the best of my knowledge, Justice Aladejana was never dismissed from the bench. He remains one of the most credible Ekiti men with dignity. So to us, we consider this a distraction.
“If those making the allegations are sure of themselves, let them show the proof of their accusation”, he said.
Oloketuyi also said he was eminently qualified to be a member of SIEC, contrary to the position canvassed by the PDP, insisting that he was never a card carrying member of any political party.
“I was appointed as an Electoral Commissioner under the first term of Governor Ayodele Fayose and now reappointed by Governor Kayode Fayemi. This was an eloquent testimony to my integrity as a former Public servant.
“I worked in the civil service and retired as the immediate past Public Relations Officer at the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, so I never carried the card of any political Party,” he said. [THE NATION]