A human rights organization, the Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ), has appealled to the leadership of the Senate, under the headship of Senator Ahmed Lawan and Senator Kabir Gaya-led Senate Committee on INEC to reconsider the confirmation of Osun State nominee for the position of Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Alhaji Raheem Muhideen Olalekan, popularly known as “Kosemani”.
The group described Alhaji Muhideen Raheem as a tested, trusted and reliable personality that is fit for the plum electoral job, adding that he is a man with fear of God, integrity, unblemished and unquestionable character as stipulated by the amended 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In a signed statement by the Executive Chairman of CHRSJ, Comrade Adeniyi Alimi Sulaiman copies of which were made available to newsmen at the weekend, he stressed that Raheem would make his wealth of experience to bear on the job by assisting in bringing sanity into the country’s electoral process.
CHRSJ boss added that the nomination of Raheem as REC was as a result of his selfless service to humanity and his intellectual capability for the growth of Nigerian democracy, adding that Raheem was one of the few human assets the good people of Osun State could be proud of at the moment.
It was against this background that it urged the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly to reconsider his (Raheem) confirmation whenever he appears before the Senate, maintaining that the Petition purportedly written by one Abideen Adebisi Oyegbade was fake that could not stand the test of rational scrutiny and cannot be proved beyond reasonable doubt by the alleged author.
CHRSJ further alleged that its investigation has revealed that the said fake Petition was not orchestrated by Oyegbade but written in his name by the two Osun State All Progressives Congress (APC) Senators, Ajibola Basiru and Adelere Oriolowo, representing Osun Central and West in the current 9th Senate respectively alleging Raheem to be a member of the ruling APC.
Alhaji Raheem who hailed from Osogbo Local Government area of the State, has been the nominee of the President Muhammadu Buhari from Osun State for the exalted position in the nation’s electoral Commission but investigation revealed that Senator Basiru who also hailed from Osogbo has been working round the clock to ensure that the nominee would not scale through the Senate confirmation, which makes Basiru and Oriolowo to be the architects of the phantom petition to the Senate.
Investigation also revealed, according to the rights group, that the two APC Senators just used the name of Oyegbade from Elekuru’s Compound, Oke-Odo, Ikire in Irewole Local Government area of Osun State as a staunch supporter of Mr. Oriolowo in the 2019 general election.
Denying the fake Petition through a Letter dated 12th of November, 2019 and signed by the authentic Oyegbade which was forwarded to the Senate President, Senator Lawan, attached with an 8-paragraph sworn affidavit disowning the petition dated October 31st, 2019 in the High Court of Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on the nomination of Raheem Muideen Olalekan as a REC of INEC, to support his (Oyegbade) claim of not having any knowledge of the fake petition.
According to the the Oyegbade’s Letter ” My attention has been drawn to a fake petition dated 31.10.2019 submitted by some unscrupulous individuals in my name against the person of one Mr. Raheem Muideen Olalekan a.k.a. Kosemani. To my utmost surprise, the writers of the fake petition attributed it to my residential address in Ikire, Osun State, and put a fake signature purportedly belonging to me.
“This is to issue a disclaimer against the said petition as I did not author any such petition and neither did I submit any petition against anyone. I have been seriously disturbed by this fake petition
as I did not at any time write or submit any petition against anybody. It is in this light that I have deposed to the affidavit herein attached and hereby plead that you look into this matter with a view to doing justice in this case. Thank you Sir.”
Part of deposing affidavit read thus; “I have read several reports in the news, particularly in the social media, in the last one week in relation to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s nomination of three Nigerians as Resident Electoral Commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from Bayelsa, Borno and Osun States. I also read that a petition was submitted to the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigerian against the said Raheem Muideen Olalekan’s nomination.
“I was bombarded with several telephone calls by friends and family members who also read the reports, seeking to confirm whether or not I was indeed the one who wrote and signed the petition. It was through the said telephone calls that I became aware that the said petition was written and signed in my name.
“I have never met the said Raheem Muideen Olalekan and do not know anything about him regarding the contents of the petition and the documents/photographs attached to the petition. The signature contained on the signature indicated to be mine is not mine and was not signed by me at all.
“At the foot of this affidavit is my signature, which is the only signature I have. At the foot of this affidavit is also my thumbprint. Attached to this affidavit is also a copy of my international passport attached as Exhibit A.” The statement said.
Speaking further on the development, Comrade Sulaiman, who condemned the unprogressive action of Basiru and Oriolowo, stating that such step may lead to a communal acrimony between the two ancient towns of Iwo and Osogbo if not properly handled.
The rights activist urged the police to investigate the two mentioned Senators over the fake petition and make the report of their investigation known to the public in no distant time.
He, therefore, submitted that the Senate should discountenance the said fake letter in respect of the confirmation of Alhaji Raheem Muideen Olalekan as REC from the State because something could not stand on nothing.