The last is yet to be heard about the 2015 governorship election in Ekiti State, as one of the indicted officers, Brigadier General Aliyu Momoh has been retired.
Army spokesman, Colonel Sani Umar, confirmed to Channels Television on Monday that the Army officer was retired in line with the recommendation of the Army panel set up to look into allegation of professional misconduct against him in connection with the conduct of June 14, 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State and the 2015 general elections.
A board of inquiry led by General Officer Commanding One Division of the Nigerian Army, led by Major General Adeniyi Oyebade indicted the senior officer and others recommending various degrees of sanctions for them.
Controversies have trailed the role of the military in the alleged rigging of the election since the emergence an audio said to have been recorded by a military officer who was at a meeting where election rigging plans were discussed.
The Nigerian Army then set up the Board of Inquiry (BOI) to investigate the alleged malpractices and involvement of its personnel in the Ekiti and Osun States’ governorship elections.
The Spokesman for the Nigerian Army, Colonel Sani Usman, said at the time that the Board of Inquiry would investigate the “alleged unprofessional and unethical conduct” of some of its men who had been mentioned in the controversy.
Perceived Militarisation Of Process
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had in November 2015 also told the Nigerian Army Panel that soldiers indeed connived with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to rig the election.
At the One Mechanized Division Headquarters of the Nigerian Army in Kaduna State, North West Nigeria, venue of the panel, the APC alleged that military officials were involved in misconduct during governorship elections.
The APC also alleged that there were perceived militarisation of the electoral process, as that was aptly demonstrated by the restriction of movement, arrest and harassment of many of its members by soldiers on the election day.
The party also claimed that some APC governors were barred from entering the state for the final rally of the party on June 19, 2014.
The APC Chairman, Mr Olajide Awe, who testified on behalf of his party, narrated to the panel how soldiers, acting on the orders of the Brigade Commander, General Momoh, seized money meant for logistics from APC leaders on the eve of the election.
The party urged the military authorities to properly investigate the allegations, with a view to sanctioning its personnel and advising them on how to be civil when monitoring future elections.
It also asked the Federal Government to punish perpetrators of such illegality.
In January 2016, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State, Dr. Tope Aluko, also came on Channels Television’s Politics Today tendering evidences on how he claimed the election was rigged in favour of Governor Ayodele Fayose with the help of INEC officials and the military.
He referred to the audio which was leaked on the internet, saying it was genuine and not doctored.
“For the military to indict its members because of the election of a state you will know that what I am saying is not a lie,” Mr Aluko said, adding that some monies in hard currency were giving as the funding for the Ekiti governorship election.