Former President Goodluck Jonathan gave Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose $37 million cash for the June 21, 2014 governorship election, it was learnt yesterday.
A former Secretary of the Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Temitope Aluko, a member of the team that prosecuted the election, said Dr. Jonathan gave Fayose $2 million in March 2014 for the primary election. He alleged that the cash was collected at the NNPC Towers in Abuja from businessman Ifeanyi Uba, who last night denied playing any role in the election or giving Fayose any money.
Aluko said the cash was taken to Fayose’s private house in Abuja from where it was moved to Ekiti.
“Immediately after the primary election, we collected another $35 million from Jonathan on June 17, 2014. The money was brought to us by the former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro.
“We all assembled in front of Spotless Hotel, Ado-Ekiti, owned by Fayose. Thereafter, the cash was taken to a Bureau De Change in Onitsha where, with the support of Chris Uba, it was converted to N4.7 billion,” Aluko added.
But Fayose dismissed Aluko as a “distraction” and his story “untrue”. The embattled PDP chief, who fell out with Fayose shortly after the election, disclosed that the governor collected about N3 billion cash from Senator Buruji Kashamu in 2013 to revive the then comatose PDP structure in Ekiti.
But Kashamu’s aide Augustine Oniyokor said: “While it is true that Senator Buruji Kashamu supported PDP candidates, including the Ekiti State governor, as a true party man, I’m not aware of the financial implications.”
Giving an insight into how the military and other security agencies were drafted into the Ekiti State election, Aluko said Fayose insisted that the only way the PDP could win was to use the military.
Said he: “The former President agreed with Fayose and summoned a security meeting at the Presidential Villa for the purpose of the election.
“Those at the meeting were the former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh, then Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimmah and former PDP National Chairman Adamu Mu’azu.
“Others included Fayose, Senator Iyiola Omisore, then Minister of Police Affairs Jelili Adesiyan and Obanikoro.
“At that meeting, the former President made it clear to the ex-Chief of Defence Staff that Fayose would stand for him (as Commander-in-Chief) in terms of providing security for the election.”
According to Aluko, the implication of Jonathan’s directive was that the military chiefs were to take orders from Fayose for the duration of the election.
On the strength of Jonathan’s directive, Aluko said Fayose then approached the former Commander of the Army Brigade in Akure, Brig.-Gen. Dikko, to take charge of the election for the PDP.
“But Gen. Dikko did not give us audience. He stated bluntly that he would not be available for such operation. So Fayose sponsored a petition against him, which led to his replacement with Brig.-Gen. Aliyu Momoh who was amenable to our plans,” Aluko stated.
Giving details of how the military and other security agencies were mobilised to win the election for the PDP, Aluko said four party stalwarts were picked from each of the 16 local government areas.
According to him, the 64 party stalwarts were carefully picked because they knew the terrain in their local governments very well.
“They gave detailed information regarding names and locations of opposition members in all the local governments, the various routes, areas of strength and weaknesses of the PDP in the 16 local government councils.
“Today, most of these 64 men are members of the Senate, House of Representatives, state House of Assembly, commissioners, local government chairmen, special advisers and the rest,” Aluko said.
“We went into the election with 1040 recognised soldiers and another batch of 400 unrecognised soldiers brought from Enugu by Chief Chris Uba.
“In addition, we raised 44 Special Strike teams, brought in Toyota Hilux buses from Abuja and Onitsha. We made special stickers for the vehicles that conveyed members of the Strike Team and black hand bands for each of them.
“Each Strike Team was made up of 10 members headed by a soldier and comprising soldiers, policemen, DSS operatives and Civil Defence Corps. They were detailed to attack and arrest prominent APC chieftains in all the local governments.
“We set up anchorage, mainly residential houses, in every local government where the Strike Team members collected their welfare and other allowances.
“To encourage the Strike Team members, we gave them orders to share money and other valuables they could lay their hands on in the houses of APC chieftains they raided.
“Then we set up detention camps, mainly in primary schools, where most of the APC chieftains were detained. Others were detained in police stations where the DPOs were friendly with us. We let them off after the election was over.
“A day to the election, we used the military to block all routes in the local governments and prevented APC chieftains, including former Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, from coming into Ekiti.
“So we ensured that no APC chieftain was in sight on election day. We provided polling agents for the APC in most of the polling units so we had no problem getting them to sign election results in the units.
“All these local and foreign observes that described the election as free and fair only witnessed the voting on election day without knowing what transpired before the voting.”
Aluko, who was the Chief Returning Officer who signed the results for the election, said he was fully involved in the plot with Fayose from the very beginning.
According to him, he was forced to divulge the information because Fayose betrayed him and derailed from the original plan they had for the development of the state after winning the election.
Said he: “Before the election, Fayose, Femi Bamishile and I jointly swore with the Holy Bible on a sharing formula after we must have won the election. We agreed that Fayose would be governor, Bamishile his deputy and I, Chief of Staff.
“But the moment he got into office, Fayose reneged on the agreement and left me in the lurch. More worrisome is the fact that Fayose has derailed from the original Ekiti project we envisaged”.
He also spoke about the Osun election which followed and the inability of the PDP to take the same system they adopted in Ekiti, to Osun State which Governor Rauf Aregbesola resisted.
Aluko, who testified in camera before the military panel that investigated the role of the military in Ekiti and Osun states elections, said he gave the same testimony before the panel.