Onyekachi Eze, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied appointing Prof. Eyitope Ogungbenro Ogunbodede, the Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) as the Returning Officer for the Ondo governorship election.
Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, who is Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council, had alleged that INEC appointed Prof. Ogunbodede as Returning Officer, and said the party is against his choice.
But Chairman of Information and Voter Education committee, Festus Okoye said the returning officer “is not from Ondo State and not from the university mentioned” by the governor.
While stating that INEC “will not be drawn into speculations relating to the performance of its constitutional and statutory functions,” Okoye warned that the Commission will not share its responsibility with any individual, group or political party.
“It is the sole responsibility of the Commission to appoint a Returning Officer for the Ondo Governorship election.
“The Returning Officer appointed by the commission will report to the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Ondo State on the date conveyed in his letter of appointment issued several days ago.
“The Commission is firmly focused on the conduct of free, fair and peaceful election and implores all the stakeholders to cooperate and play their own part in ensuring peaceful election and not to engage in unhelpful speculation.
“The main concern of the Commission is in ensuring a credible electoral process while the outcome is in the hands of the people of Ondo State,” the National Commissioner stated.