ONDO 2020: INEC DISMISSES CLAIMS THAT IT APPOINTED GOVERNOR AKEREDOLU’S ALLY AS CHIEF RETURNING OFFICER
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has dismissed claims that the Chief Returning Officer appointed for the gubernatorial election in Ondo State slated for Saturday, October 10, is an ally of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday, October 8, 2020, had claimed that the electoral body had appointed the Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, as the Chief Returning Officer for the polls.
Recall, Eons Intelligence, on Thursday, October 8, reported that the Chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council and Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, said that Ogunbodede is a known ally of Governor Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and hails from Owo, the same hometown as the Ondo State Governor.
Makinde, who said the PDP rejected Ogunbodede as the election’s Returning Officer, disclosed that he cannot be a fair party in the proceedings by virtue of his association with the Governor and as such, would not guarantee a free and fair election.
However, Festus Okoye, Chairman INEC Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), debunked the allegations in a statement on Friday, October 9, 2020.
Okoye revealed the returning officer is not from Ondo State and also not from the university mentioned by the PDP.
“The attention of INEC has been drawn to a press conference addressed by the Chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council and Governor of Oyo State, Mr. Seyi Makinde, on Thursday, October 8, 2020, to the effect that the commission has appointed the Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Prof. Eyitope Ogungbenro Ogunbodede, as the Returning Officer for the Ondo Governorship election taking place on October 10, 2020.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Returning Officer for the Ondo Governorship election is not from Ondo State and not from the University mentioned in the said press conference,” Okoye said,” he said.
Okoye admonished all stakeholders to cooperate and play their own part in ensuring the election is devoid of violence
He added that INEC is more concerned in ensuring a credible electoral process while the outcome is determined by the people in the State.