NewsRescue-Here is the damning audio implicating the Nigerian Army and top PDP politicians and governors in rigging the recently concluded Ekiti elections. The two and a half hours of damning evidence is seriously incriminating and will send many people to jail and threatens the very freedom of the president of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan:
Earlier from SaharaReporters;
SaharaReporters has received unimpeachable documents and audio recordings providing substantial evidence that major Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders planned and successfully rigged the gubernatorial elections in Ekiti State, and plotted a similar scenario in Osun in 2014.
The audio recordings and affidavit were provided by Sagir Koli, a Captain in the 32nd Artillery Brigade stationed in Ekiti State, who has since fled the country for fear of retaliation. Capt. Koli recorded the conversation on 20th June 2014 when he was asked to accompany his Commanding Officer, Brigadier General Aliyu Momoh, to the meeting. The venue was held at Spotless Hotel in Ado-Ekiti.
The audio recordings depict the meeting as being attended by the eventual “winner” of the election, Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti; Senator Iyiola Omisore; a man identified as Honorable Abdulkareem; the Minister for Police Affairs Caleb Olubolade; and Senator Musiliu Obanikoro who was at the time the Minister of State for Defence. Mr. Chris Uba came to Ekiti with huge stash cash and soldiers from the East to carry out the assignment.
The 37-minute recording details the conversation between these men as they bribed Brigadier General Momoh with a promotion for his assistance in carrying out election fraud in Ekiti. In it, Obanikoro is clearly heard informing the group of men, “[I] am not here for a tea party, am on special assignment by the President.”
SaharaReporters further received credible intelligence that President Goodluck Jonathan had instructed the Chief of Defense Staff, Alex Badeh, to use the army in arresting and intimidating opposition politicians before and during the election. The audio recording provides exact details of the plot, with the collaborators almost degenerating into physical combat.
Authentication of Audio Recordings and Proof of Election Fraud
The audio recordings were analyzed and authenticated by Guardian Consulting, an independent US-based security consulting company. According to a report authored by Guardian Consulting, also in the possession of SaharaReporters, the independent company used Forensic Voice Frequency Comparison technology to identify all voices on the recording with audio available in the public domain.
The then Deputy Defense Minister, Obanikoro clearly states to General Momoh that he was not only sent to the meeting by President Jonathan, but “you can’t get a promotion without me sitting on top of your military council. If I am happy tomorrow night, the sky is your limit.”
Governor Fayose revealed that he had already bribed an official of the Independent National Election Commission (INEC), the non-political commission charged with organizing elections in Nigeria, to bring copies of voter ballots with the INEC logo to him that day. Fayose, upset that his INEC contact was caught in traffic, narrated his day’s frustrations: “Where are we supposed to be collating the thing INEC gave to us? Soft copies we now printed? Why is my [INEC] contact not with [the ballots]…my contact man [was] sitting in the check point…it took me more than two hours to get this man.”
As the plotters began to argue, Omisore, who was running for Governor of Osun State on the PDP ticket, tried to calm the room: “I would just say that we don’t have to argue so much, we have seen some lapses [today] yes. It’s just this evening, there is nothing happening now that we cannot contain before tomorrow morning.”
Plans to Rig Elections in Favor of PDP
The eyewitness testimony and sworn affidavit by Capt. Koli corroborates the audio recordings of the PDP officials’ plans to manipulate the Ekiti elections. The plotters devised several plans intended to bring about an unlawful victory for PDP candidates in Ekiti State races, including the forging of INEC ballots, the use of the military to facilitate access for PDP operatives and supporters, the creation of a list of APC members to be arrested, and the deployment of a Special Team of military personnel to prevent APC voters from reaching the polls.
The PDP officials told General Momoh that those soldiers on election duty “must work hand-in-hand with the PDP agents” and ordered the arrest of selected APC stalwarts as that could “greatly assist the party during the election including DG campaign organization for Dr. Fayemi, Mr. Bimbo Daramola,” Capt. Koli said in his affidavit.
General Momoh, confronted with criticism by the group, defended himself by saying that “we have done a lot of [APC] arrests.” It would be recalled that there were arrests of APC members in Ekiti during the period. It would also be recalled that many members of the security offices paraded around Ekiti in disguise.
The PDP collaborators also demanded that the military block APC members’ access to the electorate and that moles should “be careful because the consequence will be severe.”
Soldiers were instructed set up roadblocks leading to the polling stations and prevent APC supporters’ access. Additionally, vehicles and individuals with a special sticker labeled “National Security Task” were allowed movement anywhere, and were only distributed to PDP agents.
General Momoh informed the group that there were “about 6 special teams. I have one strike force. I have almost forty soldiers after deployment,” evidently an organized system being used to manipulate voter turnout.
Capt. Koli’s statement explained that based on these strategies, “they succeeded in rigging the Ekiti State election with victory in all the 16 Local Governing Authorities (LGAs). These really inspired them and they were with the euphoria that same would happen in Osun State.”
Indeed, leading into the Osun State elections the Brigadier General posted there was told to take a three-week leave during the elections. His position was temporarily filled by General Momoh, who then repeated the same fraudulent tactics in Osun.
Retaliation Against Captain Sagir Koli
SaharaReporters was provided with additional evidence that proves the military retaliated against Capt. Koli when he released this information. Capt. Koli fled before he was arrested, but the military arrested, secretly detained, and chained his brother Adamu to a bed for nearly five months at the Adekunle Fanjuyi’s Cantonment.
In an exclusive phone interview with from his hideout outside Nigeria, Capt. Koli told SaharaReporters that his brother was starved for periods of time and sometimes “fed worms.” Adamu was only released after a petition, which is also in possession of SaharaReporters, was submitted to the National Human Rights Commission by Barrister Chief K. Akinola Ajayi.
The treatment of Capt. Koli’s brother was so poor during his illegal confinement that he had to be hospitalized due to malnutrition.
SaharaReporters contacted Nigerian Defense spokesperson, General Chris Olukolade as well as Nigerian Army spokesperson, Col. SK Usman, for comment on this story. Both officials promised to get back to us but never did.
Some content of the recordings:
The audio recording on which it was based was surreptitiously made by Captain Sagir Koli of the 32nd Artillery Brigade stationed in Ekiti State who accompanied to the meeting the military general in charge of the Ekiti plan. He has since left Nigeria in order to protect his life, leaving behind the patriotic body of work behind this story.
A close analysis of the audio of the Ekiti election eve meeting of 20 June 2014 meeting between the implementers of the rigging plan shows how easy rigging an election can be once it has the right mix of executive and security collusion. It also underlines the arrogance and impunity with which electoral fraud may be carried out.
At the meeting were the following: Ayo Fayose, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate; Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, at the time the Minister of State for Defence; Senator Iyiola Omisore; Caleb Olubolade, the Minister for Police Affairs; Brigadier General Aliyu Momoh, and one “Honorable” Abdul Kareem, said to be a federal legislator.
Fayose, understandably, was present in his own interest, as the man the PDP wanted to put into Government House. The audio published here shows him in that role, exuding a blend of arrogance and confidence. He speaks with authority, bullying and intimidating Brigadier-General Momoh.
“We agreed in Abuja on the modalities to work,” the governor-to-be brags. “We agreed on a sticker, that any vehicle you see that sicker, you allow that sticker. That sticker is on those vehicles his own was sent to him, mine was sent to me. The one by SSS was given to me to give to them; there is no vehicle that left this place without that sticker.”
Obanikoro establishes the link of the group with the executive branch, pointing out that he was present at the behest of President Goodluck. “Am not here for tea party,” he announces. “Am here on a special assignment by the President.”
That assignment: to ensure that Fayose became the governor of Ekiti State by foul means. Omisore, a former Senator and former Deputy Governor of Osun State, was a candidate for the Osun election that would follow Ekiti’s. He seemed present to ensure success of the plan, perhaps in preparation for his own enthronement in his state thereafter.
The rest of the cast seemed to be the finely-honed tools of the operation:
General Momoh, Commander of the 32nd Artillery Brigade in Ekiti, representing the Chief of Staff of the Nigerian Army, and therefore the Nigerian military, in a partisan effort to rig a gubernatorial election.
Olubolade, the Police Minister, representing the Police Force, to make sure the Police did the bidding of the Presidency, and therefore the PDP, in a partisan effort to rig the gubernatorial election.
Obanikoro, having established that he was on the President’s special mission, speaks authoritatively, threateningly, even presidentially:
“I want him picked up [arrested) in the morning!” he says of Bimbo Daramola, [Governor Kayode Fayemi’s Campaign Manager]
“You can’t get promotion without me sitting on top of your military council,” he tells General Momoh. “If I am a happy man tomorrow night [after electoral victory), the sky is your limit.”
General Momoh demonstrates how Nigeria’s military has become not only the fetchers and carriers for the political class, but also its whipping boy. He is the clearest lesson yet why the Nigerian army seems to have lost its way.
“Chief of Army Staff called me,” Fayose tells General Momoh. “He told me, you are in safe hands…[General Momoh] would perform and if you have any issues, call me. He told me and I have made it clear to him [Chief of Army Staff] that I am Jonathan for this election.”
Fayose clearly had been given the maximum authority at the highest level to do whatever he needed to do to become Governor of Ekiti.
General Momoh, apparently clear about his orders emanating from the highest levels, was putting in his shift.
Among other things, he reassures his handlers, “We have strike force…We can start arresting [APC members] in the afternoon…I have almost 40 solders after deployment…We have done a lot of arrest.”
There are arguments running through the audio that General Momoh is not doing enough for the cause, that he does not jump quickly enough when ordered. When he appears to respond, he is roundly cut down.
“Don’t talk to me anyhow,” Abdul Kareem tells him at a point, “Who are you that I am insulting you? If I am in the military, I would be a brigadier or general today…”
“General, relax, sit down,” Olubolade tells him. “You are a soldier man. You are working for us…”
Fayose tells him, “Brigadier-General, I was governor of this state 12 years ago, you [were] probably a captain or major [at that time]…When you talk to this man he would argue from morning to night…My younger brother retired in the army as Brigadier General, when you explain to this man, its argument, argument, argument…”( SaharaReporters established that an elder brother of Mr. Ayodele Fayose named Tunde Fayose, retired as a Brigadier General in the Nigerian Army.
Obanikoro says to the other about General Momoh: “Let us make progress, give him instructions on what we want him to do, let him go and do it. Let us monitor him, and make sure those things are done…”
And directly to the General, he says, “The idea of [our] calling you and not getting reactions, we have to stop that now. You must bring that to an end. When we call you, within the next 5-10 minutes, we need to know what has been done about it…”
Fayose also reads General Momoh the riot act, in the process revealing the length and breadth of the rot of election rigging.
“My people cannot be following you about,” he warns the general. “We don’t follow IG about, we don’t follow police about. The OC MOPOL of this state is working for us, we don’t follow him about. When we call him one hand [and say] ‘we have this problem’, he settles it immediately. Last night, we told him this is happening around the Government House, he cordoned off all the four entrances…”
It is also of great significance that in the middle of the brouhaha about the performance of General Momoh, Fayose says, “We have to call the President and let him know. These people are doing some things.
They would not even serve the police that want to help us. We can’t continue like this!”
With that remark, Fayose confirms that President Jonathan is at the heart of their plan, and can be briefed at any time, perhaps for further resources.
This audio-drama restates the Nigerian electoral equation: that executive power and considerable resources are often used to subvert the will of the people. Here now is proof, finally, that not only was the Ekiti gubernatorial election June 20, 2014 rigged aforethought, it was rigged using the entire weight of federal power, with the Nigerian Army and the police involved in all kinds of illegalities.
The dramatis personae in this embarrassing plan are clear, from President Jonathan down through the PDP machine, but would be expected to attempt to deny everything.
But we have proof, here, about how the Ekiti governorship, on the back of the fable of “stomach infrastructure”, was thoroughly rigged: a plan that had probably been used in the past, and may be used as a model for future elections.
The question is: where is Nigerian law, especially when it is so roundly slapped in the face?