Former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George, has told the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, to remove the commission’s Director of ICT, Mr. Femi Odubiyi, because of his closeness to the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and President-elect, Bola Tinubu.
George, the Atona Oodua of Yorubaland, declared that the first thing Yakubu must do is to explain to Nigerians how Odubiyi, a former Commissioner for Science and Technology in Lagos State, found his way into INEC as head of ICT, “a critical department before, during and after elections”.
“Today, millions of Nigerians are disputing the outcome of the February 25 presidential elections and some candidates are already in court. BVAS and IReV are very critical in the legal process that is going on.
“Nigerians are already asking Prof. Mahmood Yakubu: How did this man, former Commissioner in Lagos State, find his way into INEC, not just any Department but a critical one like ICT? That department is very sensitive. Why should a follower of a presidential candidate be deployed to man a sensitive department like ICT in an election year?
“How did he even get his way into INEC? Do we have acolytes of Atiku Abubakar, Peter Obi and other candidates heading other departments in INEC? Nigerians need to know. Was there no background check by security agents before this man was chosen to head ICT? How do we want the world to look at us when somebody close to a presidential candidate decides what goes on in the ICT department?
“Now that other candidates are in court, is this not the time for this fellow to be redeployed? Who appointed him and when was he appointed? Nigerians need to know,” he said.
According to George, he said it appears Odubiyi is a mole deliberately planted in INEC, to subvert the will of the Nigerian electorate, saying if not, the commission, through Yakubu, must come clean, to explain to Nigerians how a former commissioner in the employment of Lagos State became a director of ICT department in INEC.
“How did he get in there? Was Yakubu sleeping? How come Atiku, Obi, Kwankwaso and others did not put their contacts there? These are posers the INEC Chairman must unravel,” he asked.
He called for a comprehensive investigation, that should involve all government security apparatus “to get to the bottom of this intriguing matter of national interest”, stating that no culpable hand, no matter how highly placed, should be spared of appropriate punishment.
“It is stated clearly in the electoral bill that election results from the polling units must be transmitted into INEC Server, and there must not be any interloper.
“I call on all security apparatus of government to quickly wade into this matter by inviting Odubiyi, to explain whatever role he has played, as well as tell Nigerians how he got into INEC ICT unit, from being a Commissioner in Lagos State. The masquerade must be unveiled. This unholy alliance that has pushed our country towards precipice must be thoroughly checked and nipped in the bud,” he said.