After nearly one year since SaharaReporters broke the news of Ekitigate scandal, our correspondent has obtained documents detailing how Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose, together with former Minister of State for Defense Musiliu Obanikoro and others, used more than $35 million (N4.7 billion) from arms funds disbursed from the Office of the National Security Adviser.
In addition to documents provided to SaharaReporters, our correspondent had an extensive interview with the Secretary of the Ekiti State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) TK Aluko. Mr. Aluko, the former right-hand-man to Mr. Fayose, was instrumental in both the successful rigging of the Ekiti gubernatorial election and Mr. Fayose’s political ascent.
Mr. Aluko’s intimate knowledge of the Ekiti State election is also because he was Mr. Fayose’s Chief Returning Officer, who signed the results on his behalf.
Mr. Aluko disclosed to our correspondent that plotting to rig the Ekiti gubernatorial election for Mr. Fayose began as early as March 23rd, 2014 when former President Goodluck Jonathan ordered Anambra state politician Chris Uba to release $2 million to Fayose following the primary election in Ekiti state.
“Fayose knew from the beginning of his gubernatorial ambition that he wanted to use the military and funding from the presidency to rig the election. He had much of the idea already in his mind,” Mr. Aluko revealed to our reporter.
Following their first meeting with Mr. Jonathan, Mr. Fayose, and Mr. Aluko received $2 million from Mr. Uba in “100 dollar denominations.” They used this money for when they returned to Ekiti, according to Mr. Aluko’s account.
Documents in SaharaReporters’ possession, and accounts by Mr. Aluko, reveal that the next meeting between Mr. Fayose and Mr. Jonathan took place in April during a council meeting. However, “we [Fayose and Aluko] knew that we needed a coalition of support to convince Mr. Jonathan to provide funding and military support.”
It was then that Mr. Fayose, together with Mr. Aluko, reached out to Mr. Obanikoro—the failed gubernatorial candidate from Lagos State and then junior Minister of Defense in 2014—and Jelili Adesiyan, the Minister of Police Affairs in 2014, to aid in convincing Mr. Jonathan to support Mr. Fayose’s gubernatorial bid.
“The coalition of Obanikoro, Adesiyan, and Fayose worked to convince Jonathan that the Southwest was his key to securing his presidential election in 2015,” Mr. Aluko explained.
Mr. Fayose, Mr. Aluko, Mr. Obanikoro, and Mr. Adesiyan met with other top PDP leaders, the military chiefs, and Mr. Jonathan in April. These leaders included Osun State Senator and gubernatorial candidate Iyolia Omisore, PDP Chairman Adamu Mu’azu; the Chief of Defense Staff Alex Badeh, Chief of Army Staff Lt. General Kenneth Minimah, and others.
By the end of the meeting, “the political leaders all convinced Jonathan that the continuity of his tenure in office depended on him providing military and financial support to Fayose during his race,” Mr. Aluko explained.
On June 11th, ten days before the Ekiti State gubernatorial poll, Mr. Fayose met again with President Jonathan, Mr. Obanikoro, Mr. Omisore, Mr. Badeh, General Minimah and the Chairman of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) Engineer Jide Adeniyi to discuss the election plot.
According to Mr. Aluko, “President Jonathan looked at Badeh and Minimah and said that ‘Fayose will stand for me as Commander -In-Chief.’”
“The message was clear to the men in the room, that the election shall be delivered for Fayose by hook or crook,” Mr. Aluko added.
At this meeting it was decided that “the ONSA will empower Obanikoro and Fayose with $35 million [N4.7 billion] for the election.”
Mr. Aluko said that Mr. Obanikoro promptly delivered the huge sum of money to Ekiti State on June 17th, the following Tuesday. He added that Mr. Fayose “signed and authorized that transfer of money from Obanikoro. However, only Obanikoro can produce that paper with Fayose’s signature.”
“This money was used to be shared among people to help buy and rig the election in Ekiti, with the military getting paid first,” Mr. Aluko stated. He added that money was paid to everybody, including members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), “we paid individuals, LGA Chairman, members of the National Civil Defense Corps, and other security agencies—but the military was first.”
According to the payment scheme provided, the military was paid substantial sums of money to facilitate the rigging in Ekiti State. Each military strike team, in Hilux vans, was given N1 million to facilitate in repressing voters and delivering the election for Fayose. Money was also given to voter blockage teams, PDP leaders, “special Ekiti leaders” like religious figures and opinion makers, as well as election observer groups.
The funding template for Ekiti East, obtained by SaharaReporters, brandishes Mr. Fayose’s signature at the end and details how much money each Ekiti State politician would receive. The document shows that each Party Agent would receive N20,000 (totaling N1.9 million), Returning Officers at ward level would receive N50,000 (totaling N600,000), Returning Officers at LGA level would receive N100,000 (totaling N100,000), Ward Chairmen would receive N250,000 each (totaling N3 million), and each of the 95 polling unit officials would receive N200,000 (totaling N19 million).
The documents obtained by SaharaReporters also details the extensive military organization, concocted with the leadership Brigadier General Aliyu Momoh, involving no less than 24 security teams-at least 1,700 heavily armed security agents-cross Ekiti State including DSS agents, NSDC personnel, and various military units.
The day of the election, due to the careful planning by former President Jonathan, Mr. Obanikoro, Mr. Fayose, Mr. Momoh, and others allowed Mr. Fayose to ascend unlawfully to the State governorship. Mr. Aluko described election day in Ekiti as “feeling like a coup” as the military and politicians hijacked polling units, abducted opposition members, and restricted the movement of citizens.
In addition to these revelations, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has revealed that the office of the National Security Adviser under Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd) did remit N4.7billion naira through an account at Diamond Bank controlled by two sons of Obanikoro -Gbolahan and Babajide between June-December 2014.
Some documents leaked to SaharaReporters detailing the military organization and payment scheme can be found below: