The Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has shed light on the arrest of a Lagos-based printer accused by the Lagos State police of printing ballot papers for the Ekiti State Peoples Democratic Party, ahead of the governorship election on Saturday.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, in a statement on Monday, said detectives went to a printing press located at 13A and 13B, Oguntona street, Gbagada area of the state where the ballot papers were found.
He said items recovered by the police include a booklet of forms belonging to Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission (EKSIEC) as well as a copy of the state’s voters register.
“On July 8, an intelligence report from a credible source was received by the command; that ballot papers meant for the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Ekiti were being printed in a company O’Naphtali Limited located at 13B Oguntona crescent , Gbagada , Lagos,” Mr Edgal said.
“The company is owned by one Eniola Fayose. The report further revealed that some of the printed ballot papers were moved to Ekiti in three Hilux vans, on Friday July 6, while the art works are still in their graphic computers.”
But Mr Fayose, while reacting to the allegation in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday, said the printer, who bears the same surname with him and hails from Ikere Ekiti, is not in any way related to him.
He said Mr Eniola got the contract from the Ekiti State government to print specimen ballot papers for enlightenment of voters.
He also challenged the security operatives who stormed the print shop, to publish the materials they claimed they had recovered from Mr Eniola’s office in Lagos.
“Eniola printed specimen of election materials for voter education for our people who are illiterates. The specimen has nothing to show it is authentic INEC material. APC and INEC printed specimens and distributed them publicly,” Mr Fayose said.
“We challenge them to show the so-called election materials that they are talking about. They should publish what they have. INEC printed their own specimen and we also printed our own specimen for voter education for our people.
“The specimen is not usable anywhere and not showing any thing that appears to be authentic materials. APC did their own specimen for their people and we did that too. This is an attempt to intimidate us. The mere fact that he is Fayose does not mean that Eniola is my relation.”
Mr Eniola, who spoke in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday, said what he printed was specimen to educate voters.
“I am a registered printer with over 20 years experience. These are the samples of specimen I was asked to print for voter education. It has no logo or security features on them as they are for mere education of the voters,” Mr Eniola, who also displayed samples of the specimen he printed for the PDP, said.
“They are just specimen to let the people know how the ballot paper looks like and how to thumb print and how to fold the papers.
“Everything the police claimed to have seen in my workshop when they searched the place are valid documents. Every political party has such specimen to educate their people. When copies given by the INEC are not sufficient, parties can print the specimen.
“The specimen I printed is in a paper of 60 gramme bond which is incapable of registering the needed security point for a genuine ballot paper. It has no logo, no number, no security feature. Specimen is clearly written on it.
“At the initial stage, I found the allegation comical and hilarious but I just noticed that it is a mischief executed by certain people trying to take undue advantage.
“The Lagos Police Commissioner in his statement never said he saw ballot papers in my workshop and did not say I was arrested. He did not see anything incriminating, he is quite a gentleman and professional in doing his job. The CP said that everything he saw were documents.
“I build my businesses on hard work and integrity with enviable track record with local and international awards. I am working for seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa. For our detractors, thanks for the free advertisement. We remain unshakable.”