Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) in Osun State has suspended two of its executive officers for an alleged electoral malpractices in the August 9 governorship election in the state.
The suspension came as the governorship candidate of the Accord Party (AP) in the election, Mr. Niyi Owolade, filed a 91-page petition to challenge the victory of Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Owolade prayed the court to cancel the results of the election in all the 30 local government areas in the state and order a re-run.
THISDAY gathered that the two officers are Fabunmi F.T from Osogbo while Esinloye A.O is from Obokun Local Government Area of the state.
The two officers were also alleged to have sold thumb printed ballot papers to the APC and manipulated form EC8 series to favour the APC.
It was also gathered that the INEC headquarters in Abuja had waded into the matter to investigate and know whether they worked for the APC to rig the August 9 elections in the state.
However, THISDAY findings at the state INEC office at about 5p.m. yesterday revealed that the two officers were actually suspended from the commission pending investigation.
As at the time of filing this report, the officer who spoke with THISDAY who does not want his name in print, confirmed also that an administrative panel had been set up to look into the allegation and if found guilty, sanctions would be meted out on them.
Meanwhile, the Accord Party petition was sworn to at the registry of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on August 30.
In a 91-page of the petition, Owolade alleged that the election was characterised by irregularities.
The AP candidate is seeking the order of the tribunal to nullify the election in all the 30 local government areas of the state.
Owolade is also asking the tribunal to direct INEC to conduct a fresh election in the state.
The petitioner alleged that the third respondent, INEC, had collaborated with the first and second respondents, Aregbesola and his party, the APC, to rig the election.
Mr. B. J. Adedayo (Esq) led Faisal Folorunso, Bhadmus Jubril, G. O. Rotimi, Seun Alaofin and Olukayode Oloyede, are counsels to the petitioner.
Owolade, a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, however expressed optimism that he would win the election if re-conducted.
Receiving the petition, the Secretary of the tribunal, Mr. Adamu Muhammed Aliyu, promised that the tribunal would discharge its duty without fear or favour.
Recall that the PDP candidate, Senator Iyiola Omisore, had filed his petition seeking an order of the tribunal to cancel election in 17 local government area and declare him the winner of the August 9 governorship election in the state.