A truck load of imported fake ballot boxes was intercepted yesterday by soldiers at Ita-Awure in Efon Local Government Area of Ekiti State. Sources said the soldiers on Ita Awure – Ilesha Road seized the truck together with its two occupants at about 11am.
Briefing journalists in Ado-Ekiti, the Brigade Commander, 32
Artillery Brigade, Akure, Brig. Gen. Aliyu Momoh, said his men at a
check-point stopped the suspects, who could not explain how they got the
The suspects are Ose, Akanbi and Erinfolami (surnames withheld).
The men were driving a Mercedes Benz truck marked Lagos APP 952 XL.
Materials found in the vehicle included ballot papers, rubber stamps,
ink pads, reflective jackets bearing the Independent National Electoral
Commission among others.
The rubber stamps and ink pads bore 2014, but some of the ballot
papers bore 2007 election and 2009 re-run governorship election marks.
Gen. Momoh, who said his men were not in the state to harass or molest anybody, warned against any attempt to foment trouble.
“We are not here to intimidate or harass anybody, but we want to warn
that whoever thinks he would foment trouble will be dealt with
“You only need to have your voter’s card and use your thumb to print
the appropriate area on the ballot paper, whoever goes to the voting
unit with any offensive weapon would be brought down,” he said.
One of the suspects, Ose, said he was contacted by somebody in Lagos
to help convey beans to Akure and that it was there that another person
asked him to come over to Ado-Ekiti and help him convey some waste
“We got here yesterday and a vehicle was loaded before our vehicle
started loading in the early hours of Thursday,” he explained.
Asked where his truck was loaded, Ose said it was at INEC office in Ado-Ekiti.
When contacted, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Alhaji Halilu Pai, said the materials were waste items.
“Those materials are what we call waste papers that have been
auctioned to people. The materials were approved for the firm to dispose
for us to prepare for the coming election. The company has the approval
of the national headquarters of INEC,” he added.
On the presence of rubber stamps and ink pads for the 2014 poll in
the materials, Pai said there was no way they could have been there.
The REC said his office got approval from Abuja on April 3, this year
to auction the materials and blamed the firm that got the job for
coming late to pick them.
He also denied any compromise on the part of INEC and its staff.
He said INEC did not think it necessary to inform security agencies on the movement of the materials.
Accusation and counter-accusation are trailing the seizure, even as
the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Mr Ayodele Fayose and the
ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are calling for full
In a statement issued by the Director General of the Ayo Fayose
Campaign Organisation (AFCO), Chief Dipo Anisulowo, the governorship
candidate said: “It is curious that two commissioners in the state
rushed to where the truck was seized to intervene and get it freed with
Fayose has called for investigation into the importation of the fake
ballot papers, accusing the APC of involvement, saying: “The arrest of a
truck loaded with ballot papers at Ita-Awure by soldiers is a
vindication of our stand that the APC was planning to rig the election.”
The Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation has also called for a
thorough investigation. Its spokesman, Dimeji Daniels, had also urged
security agencies to be on the look out for agents of rigging
His words: “APC does not have the culture of rigging. We know many
plans are being put in motion and hatched by the opposition to rig this
election because the opposition knows it is not popular and not on
ground at all. This is why no stone should be left unturned in
preventing agents of retrogression from taking Ekiti back 100 years like
they did between 2003 and 2006.”