The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has described as false a statement by the Governor of Oyo State and PDP National Campaign Council, Seyi Makinde that the Chief Returning Officer for Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State is Eyitope Ogunbode.
Mr Makinde in a press release on Thursday stated that the polls may not be free and fair because of Mr Ogunbodede, who is an ally of the incumbent Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, a candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who is seeking a reelection in the Saturday’s election.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman (Information and Voter Education Committee) Festus Okoye in a statement said Mr Ogunbodede who is also the vice-chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) has not been appointed the returning officer of the election.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Returning Officer for the Ondo Governorship election is not from Ondo State and not from the University mentioned in the said press conference,” Mr Okoye said.
“While the Commission will not be drawn into speculations relating to the performance of its constitutional and statutory functions, it is imperative to set the records straight for the benefit of the people of Ondo State and the integrity of the electoral process.
“It is the sole responsibility of the Commission to appoint a Returning Officer for the Ondo Governorship election and does not share this responsibility with any individual, group or Political Party.”
The commission added that its primary goal was to ensure the conduct of a free and fair election.