DSS Grills Former PDP Secretary, Tope Aluko, Over Ekiti Poll ‘Allegations’

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The Department of State Services has interrogated a former Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State, Dr. Temitope Aluko. Aluko arrived at the national headquarters of the service in Abuja on Friday where he was interrogated on the allegation of rigging, which he made against Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State and the state chapter of the PDP. The former secretary had told the nation last week that he and others helped Fayose to rig the June 21, 2014 Ekiti State governorship poll.

He also alleged that former President Goodluck Jonathan gave Fayose $2m for the PDP primary and $35m to prosecute the governorship election. The governor, however, didn’t dispute the claim of the money in his reaction but asked that the PDP secretary be prosecuted for perjury, saying that the latest allegations were against Aluko’s testimony at the election petitions tribunal, where he was the star witness.

The state government on Wednesday last week dragged Aluko before a magistrate court in Ado Ekiti, the state capital. Chief Magistrate Adesoji Adegboye ordered the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Etop James, to arrest and prosecute Aluko for alleged perjury. Since then, Aluko, who claimed that Fayose betrayed him by not naming him his chief of staff, had gone underground.

Investigations by our correspondent in Abuja on Saturday and Sunday showed that Aluko was asked by the security agency to provide evidence of his allegations. Aluko, it was gathered, made copies of the allegations he made against his former bosom friend, who he claimed he had known for 40 years, to the DSS.

Among documents he submitted as proofs, it was gathered, was the list which contained the names of the three persons from each local government that he alleged were put together by the governor’s team who identified weak points in each local government, the roads, strong opposition polling units and names of key opposition leaders.

He was also said to have provided details of members used by the PDP to weaken the opposition during the election. Sources at the headquarters of the service said Aluko was also asked to provide insight into his claim that the PDP used 1,040 soldiers and another 400 unrecognised soldiers, who he said were illegally recruited from Enugu to work for the party in the election. The source said:

“He (Aluko) is also providing details on his allegation that special stickers were provided for the vehicles used. He is also telling us what he knew about the procurement of black materials for the hand band for the operators of the strike team and the members of the 44 special strike teams.”

It was gathered that the service was relying on the list to enable it to get those listed as their telephone lines were also said to have been included. Each of the strike team, which was said to have had a Hilux, was made up of 10 security personnel with a soldier as the team leader. Members of the team were said to have been drawn from the DSS, NSCDC, Immigration Service and riot police.

“Definitely, the names of those listed there, especially those serving with us, would be invited for interrogation,” the source added.

Our correspondent could not get an official response from the DSS to this story as the service has not appointed a spokesperson since the assumption of office of its Director-General, Mr. Lawal Daura. It was gathered that Aluko was not arrested by the operatives, but was “helping them in their investigations,” and that he was said to be in what our source described as “safe hands.”

Fayose has, however, said he would not be the one to enforce the magistrate’s court’s order on Aluko. The governor, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, said the judiciary that made the order should be able to make the police to enforce it. Adelusi, in a text message to our correspondent on Sunday, said:

“It is the court that issued the bench warrant, not the governor. The court has only ordered the police to enforce the arrest. It is left for the police to execute the order. It has nothing to do with the executive.”

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