Despite the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, and the Minister of Police Affairs, Adesiyan Jelili – two of the characters in the Ekiti rigging audio recording – admitting the authenticity of the recording, President Goodluck Jonathan has described the tape as a fabrication that is not worth his attention.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, last Friday, Mr. Jonathan said he was not going to investigate the authenticity of the audiotape describing it as a “fabrication.”
“It’s all fabrications. Why should I investigate things that are not real?” he asked.
It is not clear how Mr. Jonathan determined the tape was not real without conducting an investigation.
Guardian Consulting, The New York-based security firm that helped analyse the voices of the characters in the leaked recording, said it conducted a forensic examination on the discussion and compared the voices to public record samples of the known individuals.
“The voices from the recording were subjected to a Forensic Voice Frequency Comparison against known samples and were found to match to a 98 per cent degree of certainty,” the firm said.
But rather than order his own investigation into the scandal, Mr. Jonathan has dismissed the tape, labelling it a fabrication the same way he, without investigation, hurriedly absolved the Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta of complicity in the October 1, 2010 bombing that killed many and injured several others.
He was later to blame the same MEND for the incident, saying the group wanted to kill him.
An intelligence officer, Sagir Koli, a Captain in the Nigerian Army, recorded the audio of a meeting between his superior, Aliyu Momoh, a Brigadier General; former Minister of State for Defence, Musliu Obanikoro; Mr. Fayose and Mr. Adesiyan where strategies for rigging the 2014 Ekiti State gubernatorial election were discussed.
While Mr. Obanikoro has denied taking part in that meeting and threatened to sue PREMIUM TIMES and Sahara Reporters for their relentless reporting of the issue, Mr. Adesiyan confessed that the recording was genuine but that it was more of an altercation between Mr. Fayose and Mr. Momoh after the former accused the later of being bribed by the then governor of the state, Kayode Fayemi.
“Fayose accused the General who supervised the Ekiti election of taking bribe from Fayemi and APC, that was two days before the election. They called me because they said the General disarmed policemen and I told him to allow the policemen to do their job,” he told the Sunday Punch newspaper.
“I was there, Fayose was there, Otunba Omisore was there, Senator Obanikoro was there. I am not denying that there was a conversation but it was not what they are saying.
“Nigerians are not dummies. These people are mischievous; somebody recorded the scene but let everybody listen to it. Listen to it yourself and get back to me,” Mr. Adesiyan said.
After initially claiming his voice was manipulated using speech software such as Natural Voices, Mr. Fayose later admitted during a political event in Ekiti that it was his voice that was captured in the tape but claimed he was rebuking Mr. Momoh for favouring the All Progressives Congress.
“If you listen to the tape about military rigging in Ekiti. Listen to the tape you will see that I was the one accusing the army of compromise. Listen, take time to listen. But they would come back with propaganda and saying it all as if the whole world of propaganda belongs to them,” he said.
President Jonathan, however, insists the tape is not real and has even proceeded to nominate Mr. Obanikoro, a principal character in the election rigging scandal, for ministerial appointment.