The Osun State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Ambassador Rufus Akeju, has been directed to proceed on leave of absence – for his own safety and as personal sacrifice towards protecting the credibility of the August 9, 2014 governorship election in the state.
The clarification was contained in a statement by Mr. Kayode Idowu, Chief Press Secretary to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega.
Mr. Idowu was reacting to reports in a section of the media yesterday that Akeju had been removed or redeployed.
He said, “The REC was requested by the Commission to step aside against the backdrop of intense partisan acrimony over his person.
“He acceded to the request, knowing the effort being invested by INEC to make the Osun State Governorship election free, fair and credible.
“He has not been indicted for any offence, and the appeal by INEC for a stay of execution of the interlocutory order restraining the Commission from recognising him as Osun REC still subsist”.
Idowu explained that for the avoidance of doubt, Akeju was still INEC’s substantive Resident Electoral Commissioner for Osun State, though another Resident Electoral Commissioner will hold fort for the period that he will be away on his leave of absence.
He said, “The Commission hereby reaffirms commitment to spare no effort in ensuring that the upcoming Osun State Governorship election is successful, and that it meets the best possible standard of credibility”.
It was learnt that the Kogi State REC, Segun Agbaje, has been saddled with the responsibility of supervising the elections and has since resumed at his new posting in compliance with the directive from INEC headquarters, Abuja.