Soyinka insists INEC must probe Ekiti ‘rigging’ tape

 

Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, says the audio file which purportedly captured some Peoples Democratic Party leaders giving orders to a general to rig the June 21, 2014 governorship elections in Ekiti State must be investigated by the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission.

Soyinka said this in a statement while reacting to a front page advert in the PUNCH sponsored by Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, in which the governor discredited the authenticity of the tape based on a report by the US that the Ekiti governorship poll was transparent.

The playwright said the issue was too weighty to be dismissed without being investigated.

He said since Fayose had referenced the US report, the Federal Government could also call on the US to assist in investigating the tape.

Soyinka said no one would lose anything by investigating the tape since it was the job of law enforcement agencies to investigate matters of state.

He said, “For those who have nothing to hide, disrobing lies and forgeries and reinforcing truth is regarded as part and parcel of the obligations we owe democracy. The audio could well be one of such forgeries. We are daily inundated with allegations, evasions, distortions, image plundering and image laundering, all under the permissive canopy of electoral proceeding.

“Once in a while, however, we encounter exposure of an exceptional dimension that appears to strike at the very root of democracy, questions the validity of an entire electoral system and even erodes confidence in the integrity of the state. Such an event need not be regarded as a repudiation of the formal mechanics put in place by an electioneering agency such as INEC, but nonetheless extends the scope of its responsibilities, including its projection of looming hazards of future electoral exercises.

“This is why, in the absence of a Constitutional Court or its equivalent, one is left with no other course than to call on INEC to also take formal charge of the recorded incident of this alleged conspiracy to pervert the course of democracy. For those ‘who have nothing to hide,’ it is a call that deserves unstinting support. They should not hesitate to assist in calling on the same US expertise to assist us in exposing a forgery.

“We are speaking here of a development that implicates not only products, beneficiaries or would-be constitutional guardians of the electoral process – that is, an elected governor, a governorship aspirant, but also state agencies – the military, two serving ministers – that is, members of the Executive arm of government, one of them in charge of the nation’s defence portfolio – and others.

“In addition to the logical role of the police, the nation’s electoral commission should undertake an independent investigation and make its findings known to the nation. Is this perhaps something INEC can undertake while the nation waits out its suspended electoral sentence? It only requires repudiation – or validation – of the findings of an already advanced forensic enquiry.”

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