A National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission in charge of Election Operations and Logistics, Mrs Aminat Zakari, has given the Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, 48 hours to apologise publicly to her for accusing her of working with the All Progressives Congress candidate, Dr Kayode Fayemi, to rig the governorship election on Saturday.
Fayose had, on July 2, 2018, accused the police and the Department of State Services of reposting Fayemi’s security aides to the state to coordinate the rigging of the election.
The governor also alleged that Zakari and three other INEC officials — Mr Kenneth Ukeagu (Director of Procurement Department); Messrs Paschal Uwaenwe and Abdulrazaq Yusuf (both deputy directors in Information and Communications Technology Department); and Mr Abdulrasak Agboola (Deputy Director, ICT) — were working with Fayemi to carry out the alleged rigging.
But responding to the allegations in a suit filed by her lawyers, Ubong Akpan Chambers, Zakari said the governor’s “scurrilous falsehood” had negatively impacted on her health, career and family life.”
In the suit titled, ‘Scurrilous statements against the integrity, person and public service of Mrs Amina Bala Zakari,’ and addressed to the governor, the INEC commissioner’s lawyers stated, “You (Fayose) are a Christian and a family man first before being a politician or governor of Ekiti State.
“You cannot possibly think it excusable on any grounds, other than deliberate viciousness, that a governor of a state can legitimately descend to labelling a mother, wife and sister of his fellow beings, a criminal of such astounding magnitude.
“What makes it worse than defamation is the incredible injurious falsehood you inflicted on our client, in her work and public service.”
The suit added, “Mrs Zakari has been inundated with calls from family, friends and colleagues worldwide.
Zakari demanded that a written apology by the governor be published in all national newspapers within 48 hours.
The suit further demanded from the governor, “public retraction of all the allegations contained in all the said publications in the same manner and format, in which the allegations were made.