The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the August 9, 2014, governorship election in Osun State, Iyiola Omisore, has confirmed attending a meeting captured in a leaked tape, which allegedly provides details of how leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and soldiers plotted to rig the Ekiti election in 2014.
Mr. Omisore however denied that they discussed how to rig the June 21 polls.
In an interview, reported by Sahara Reporters on Monday, Mr. Omisore said the PDP candidate in the Ekiti governorship election, Ayo Fayose, who is now the governor, merely went to the army camp to complain that his supporters were being harassed by the soldiers while police officers were being disarmed.
“There was no meeting actually. Fayose went to the army camp to go and complain about the Nigerian Army arresting his people alleging that Governor Fayemi bribed the soldiers to arrest his people. That is all,” he said.
“If you listened to that tape there was no issue. In the same vein they showed on TV yesterday on video that (Governor Rauf) Aregbesola rigged the election. It was physical. This one was physical and is not being uprooted by APC but that one was just a voice over, so you can see the difference.”
The controversial audio recorded by an army captain, Sagir Koli, revealed a meeting between his superior, Aliyu Momoh, a brigadier general, former Minister of State for Defence and currently a ministerial nominee, Musiliu Obanikoro; the Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan; Mr. Omisore and Mr. Fayose, strategizing on how to rig the June 21, 2014 governorship election.
Mr. Omisore admission came barely a week after President Goodluck Jonathan who was mentioned in the audio by Mr. Obanikoro, claimed the audio was fabricated and would not give it any attention.
“It’s all fabrications. Why should I investigate things that are not real?” the president told Wall Street Journal, in a recent interview.
Mr. Jonathan later explained that he did not rule out the possibility of a meeting, but the claim it was about rigging.
Both Messrs. Adesiyan and Fayose had earlier admitted the meeting held but that its agenda was not how to rig the election.
Mr. Obanikoro denied participating in the meeting. The former minister threatened to sue media organisations, including PREMIUM TIMES and Sahara Reporters, which have continued to report the issue.
Mr. Omisore, a former senator and deputy governor of Osun State, admitted urging the participants in the meeting to calm down when they went to complain to Mr. Momoh about the disarming the policemen on duty and harassing the PDP members.
“What I am saying is that if you listen to that tape, you will know the difference. The issue being canvassed on that tape was complaints by Fayose about soldiers arresting PDP or disarming policemen, simple!
“All I said was calm down, calm down! What happened was that we were told the army were disarming the Nigerian policemen. So in that case is that you are supposed to be working as partners and so how can you override your partners. That was what he was cautioning them for that day.”
“The issue on ground was the Nigerian army disarming the Nigeria policemen. So he (Fayose) was just advising the army general that he must cooperate with the government agency and they must work together – the Nigerian Army, the Civil Defence Corps and the Nigerian police etc.”
Mr. Omisore lambasted the All Progressives Congress for unnecessarily overheating the matter just as he alleged that Mr. Aregbesola rigged the Osun state polls in which he (Omisore) lost.
“So, there is a propaganda noise about APC. They just make noise unnecessarily. Look at the case of Aregbesola and how he rigged Osun election when he was seen thumb-printing. These are the isues you are supposed to be talking about,” the PDP governorship candidate who recently lost to Mr. Aregbesola at the election tribunal, said.