The Ekiti State Government has said the reconciliation between Governor Ayodele Fayose and the former state Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr. Tope Aluko, will not stop the latter’s prosecution.
Aluko had, in media interviews a few weeks ago, revealed how the PDP allegedly rigged the June 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State in favour of Fayose, who defeated the incumbent, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, of the All Progressives Congress.
He also claimed that President Goodluck Jonathan gave Fayose N4.7bn cash to prosecute the election.
He also claimed that he attended a series of meetings at the Presidential Villa in Aso Rock, Abuja, where strategies on how to rig the election in the state were perfected with the help of about 44 special strike teams consisting of security men assigned to harass top members of the APC in Ekiti State at the time.
These were contrary to his evidence before the Ekiti State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, where he stated that the election was free and fair.
He also testified at the military panel set up to investigate the role of military men in the June 21, 2014 governorship election, where he also indicted some top military officers, who provided security during the poll.
On Sunday, however, Aluko and Fayose met in Lagos, where they told journalists that they had decided to forget the past and move on.
At a news conference in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, on Tuesday, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Owoseni Ajayi, said “the perceived reconciliation” would not stop the case already filed against Aluko.
“The apology of Aluko to Governor Fayose was personal. We can’t, because of this interventionist apology, collapse all our cases; government is not run that way.
“We can’t abandon our responsibilities as a state just because someone apologised to our governor on a case that was already pending in court. They are not fresh cases and we will pursue it to a logical conclusion,” he said.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Air Force, Duro Faseyi, in a statement, also described the truce as “an insult, disrespect and a ruse to Ekiti State and its people.”
Faseyi added, “The latest development is nothing but a charade and comedy of the highest order, which must not be taken seriously at all. It was shocking to hear the purported meeting between Governor Fayose and Dr. Aluko, despite all the damage that had been done so far by the latter over the 2014 governorship election.
“Ekiti people are wise and they cannot be deceived by the antics of Dr. Aluko who had come out at different forums to discredit the wishes of the generality of Ekiti electorate over the poll.”
The justice commissioner lambasted the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), for alleged disobedience to court orders.
He accused the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, of refusing to arrest Aluko and allegedly providing protection him.
Ajayi said the state had filed for an order of mandamus to compel the IG to obey the warrant for Aluko’s arrest.
A Chief Magistrate’s Court in Ado Ekiti had, on February 3, ordered the state Commissioner of Police, Etop James, to arrest and prosecute Aluko for alleged perjury.
Chief Magistrate, Soji Adegboye, granted the order following a motion exparte moved by the state Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr. Gbenga Adaramola.
Ajayi said, “On the notorious issue of Dr. T. K. O. Aluko, who is enjoying DSS, Police and military escort despite a court order for his arrest by the police, it has been brought to the knowledge of the AGF for his appropriate intervention without any response.
“This type of character should not be allowed to behave as if there is no law in this country. A liar will remain a liar whether he is in favour of the government in power or otherwise.”
Meanwhile, the APC in Ekti State has said the truce between Fayose and Aluko will not alter the revelations on the June 21, 2014 governorship election.
The party’s reaction followed insinuations that the Sunday’s peace meeting between the duo was a blow to a just conclusion of the military panel that probed the military’s role in the election.
The state APC Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, in a statement on Tuesday, argued that the development would not alter anything in the revelations at the probe panel.
He said it was mischievous to insinuate that Aluko was lured by the APC to lie against Fayose and the military officers who were retired after they were found guilty by the Army probe panel.
Olatunbosun added, “This is purely an internal matter within the PDP and so the APC has no hand in it. The reported meeting between Fayose and Aluko, brokered by PDP leaders, has proved conclusively that the latter is a full member of PDP.
“It is that recognition by the PDP that made its leaders to invite the duo to a peace meeting, and contrary to (Lere) Olayinka’s insinuation, it is on record that Aluko had always insisted that his revelation at the probe panel was in response to the APC’s petition against him on the controversial election in which he had to make restitution through confession to clear his conscience.
“It is mischievous to insinuate that Aluko’s reconciliation with Fayose will hurt the credibility of the probe panel. We must note that Aluko swore to an oath before making his testimony at the probe panel, and so, his statement remains sacrosanct till the last is heard on the matter to ensure justice in the resolution of Ekitigate.”
Olatunbosun also warned Olayinka against making an attempt to discredit the entire military probe process by saying that the military relied on Aluko’s testimony to dismiss its top officers.
“The military top echelons are not fools to dismiss the affected officers on mere lies. They must have had their facts after presentation of documentary evidence and the affected officers defended themselves before they could arrive at the conclusion to sack the indicted officers.
“The Military High Command must note that the trick of criminals all over the world is to blackmail in order to curry undeserved sympathy.”