- It was a coincidence –INEC
- Oyetola’s aide keeps mum
It has been uncovered that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the stalwarts of the ruling political party in Osun State, the All Progressives Congress, were lodged in the same hotel in Osogbo.
The hotel’s name is Aenon Suites, located at 1, Femi Adefila Crescent, Osogbo G.R.A, Osun State.
Our reporter on ground, in the company of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting Reporter, gathered that the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu himself arrived and slept at the Aenon Hotel on Wednesday, for the Peace Agreement Signing Ceremony with the 15 political parties, who had candidates in the Saturday’s governorship election. He departed the Hotel on Thursday.
It is the same hotel where APC Governors such as Dr. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, and Mr Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State were lodged.
While Abiodun, was sighted by our reporter around 7:45pm on Thursday Night at the hotel, heading to his room on the 2nd or 3rd floor, Fayemi, it was gathered, arrived the hotel at about some minutes past 10:00pm on Friday night.
It was gathered that a Governor from the core Northern states was also lodged in the Hotel but this reporter could not gather supporting evidence as at the time of this report.
At the time of Yakubu’s stay at the hotel, no media was allowed into the hotel, which was heavily barricaded by DSS and other security operatives of the Governors.
But multiple sources, who don’t want to mention their names, confirmed his brief stay at the hotel.
“Yes, (INEC) Chairmen was lodged at Aenon Suites on Wednesday, but he has left yesterday’s (Thursday) afternoon. His flight was supposed to be for 12:00pm.”
Efforts to obtain the Hotel Guests Record as hard evidence proved abortive, as one of the hotel staff initially approached decline volunteering “such a sensitive information.”
However one of the receptionists, who didn’t know was speaking to an undercover reporter, confirmed to this reporter that the INEC Chairman was indeed lodged and slept in their hotel.
The source said he saw him and knew when he left the hotel on Thursday.
This reporter and a colleague from TheICIR spent the entire Friday evening and early morning of the election day, Saturday, on undercover mission in the hotel, collecting pieces of evidence (video, picture, and other important details around the revelation).
Besides the INEC chairman, it would soon be discovered that there were other senior officials and the 31 Electoral Officers, who would be serving as Returning Officers for each of the LGAs, all camped at the Aenon hotel.
Those seen and captured in short videos by our reporter include Professor Kunle Ajayi, INEC National Commissioner in-charge of Ogun, Ondo and Osun States; and Dr. Baba Bila, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Electoral Operations Committee.
Most of the Electoral Officers were sighted at the hotel, waiting at a Balcony. They were adorned in INEC branded bibs.
A session of the hotel close to the restroom on the left hand side, from the reception, was heavily manned by plain clothed DSS Operatives.
It was not clear what was going on inside, but INEC officials and the security operatives would later be seen exchanging pleasantries.
Also at the hotel, our reporter would discover the descreet movement of huge cash inside Ghana Must Go bags and some traveling bags in the official SUV Jeeps serving on the Convoys of the Governors.
The particular transport captured by our report, among others, was a private car, branded in Osun SUBEB.
In a response to TheICIR Reporter’s request whom this reporter was jointly working with on this story, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, said the development “must be an unintended coincidence”
According to him, “that must be a coincidence. Hotels are very difficult to get at this election time.
“Even when we went for the Stakeholders’ meeting last week, our team was spilt into two, because we couldn’t get one hotel to accommodate all of us. Most of the hotels were fully booked,” he responded via Whatsapp.
However, the Chief Press Secretary to the Osun State Governor, Wale Omipidan, was yet to respond to inquiries as of the time of this reporting.