‘INEC Frustrating My Efforts To Regain My Mandate’
Segun Adewale, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Lagos West senatorial district in the last general elections speaks on why he is challenging the result of the election at the tribunal.
THE last general election was largely considered credible. Why are you contesting the result at the tribunal?
I am at the tribunal because I believe I was robbed of victory. It is clear; we have 10 local councils in our senatorial district and I won election in eight local councils but Solomon Olamilekan known as Yayi was declared winner. As I am talking to you now, I have the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the result that shows that I won. I scored above 372,000 votes; Yayi scored I think 292,000 or so. But the original result was altered and Yayi was given 428,000 and was returned.
I have gone to the tribunal but I am being frustrated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). It seems they are working in pari-passu with the All Progressives Congress (APC). The essential result that I need, the CTC for all the local councils that I need in court, I can’t get it. I have petitioned INEC severally but INEC would respond that it is the local council; at the local council, the EO would say that it is the SOD leader that is withholding the document. My time is limited. It is a tribunal and after 21 days your case is thrown out if you don’t file all the necessary documents. That is the point. So, I am being frustrated because without the document there is nothing anybody can do.
What role is your party playing to facilitate your case?
Right now, the party in Lagos is having challenges. You heard the story of the removal of the state chairman. So, we are having difficulty taking this problem to the party because right now the party is not really stable. Party members at the moment are on their own.
Have you made efforts to take your case to the INEC headquarters?
I have no choice now. If we can’t get anything from INEC Lagos office anytime soon, I will take the matter to Abuja because I have no choice. The problem we had in my senatorial district during the presidential and National Assembly election is that over 50 per cent of voters were manually accredited and not through the card reader machine. So, majority of the documents are here and not in Abuja.
We have written to INEC and they responded that they would to see to it. There was a time we wrote and they asked us to come. When we got there, they made copies of the result of governorship election for us instead of the senatorial election results.
My question here is must everybody be a member of the APC. There must be an opposition; somebody must be able to criticise the government.
For instance in my own community, as Yayi is representing us, if I join APC who will now tell the people that Yayi is not performing or that Lagos State government is not performing. That is the reason Yayi never mentioned the deplorable state of the senatorial district he wants to represent when he was campaigning. He never talked about the area boys and girls leaving there or that the roads are bad. Meanwhile, it is on record that in the 10 local councils in this senatorial district, there is no public water, may be you have that only in Ikeja. As a member of the opposition, I can go on air and tell the public that things are not well with our senatorial district. If I join APC, I cannot criticise the government. That’s the point.
So, I am frustrated because an election was won, the result there is clear and somebody altered it and wrote something on it and said Yayi won. Now, I said okay no problem, give me my result because it is my entitlement and they refused. They are doing all these to buy time. That was what happened in 2011. I won the 2011 election and the result was not announced till date. I went to court and it was the same process and my case was thrown out of court because of time.
What is your next line of action?
I want people at the helm of affairs to call the INEC in Lagos to order. INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, has to call them to order because I need those documents to go to court. You see, the reason INEC is doing this is because it cannot come to court, which is the new rule. It is only the APC and I that have to be in court and I need my results to prove to the judge that I won the election but they have refused to release them. What I have with me is the summary; I need to have form EC8A, EC8B and EC8C and they have refused to release them.
And you think the APC has a hand in your ordeal?
That is it. We are calling on both the outgoing President and the President-elect (whom we know to be incorruptible), to look into this and call the same people that are preaching change and the INEC chairman to order. They keep on preaching change and integrity but common result was falsified in their favour. They are refusing to accept court summons and they are talking about change. So, to me it is a paradox; there is no change anywhere.