The controversy trailing the election of Senate members ahead of the selection of the next Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan took another turn as another aspirant, Professor M. K. Akinsola, has written the Chairman of the institution’s Governing Council over the result of the election.
However, unlike the two earlier earlier contestants at the election who petitioned the council, Professor Akinsola wrote the council to distance itself from the allegations that the Senate election lacked transparency.
In a copy of his letter to the council obtained by OYOINSIGHT.COM, he maintained that the issues raised by the two contestants who had earlier petitioned the council are spurious and really non-issues as far as the credibility of the entire electoral process is concerned.
He also stated that he is not in support of the call for the cancellation of the election noting that he can never be intimidated to act contrary to his convictions because he can whole heartedly vouch for the integrity of the Joint Council/Senate Selection Board election.
His letter read in parts:
My attention has been drawn to a purported petition titled as above.
Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have bothered myself with a reaction, but for the fact that my name was mentioned in the said petition to you without my knowledge and it would appear as if one is in support of the contents stated therein. The petitioner stated that “This objection stems from our conviction that the election was technically compromised——-“. There are nine (9) of us who contested the election and the petition was signed by only one person. I do not know where the” öur” is coming from.
On the issue of no record of valid nomination, a meeting was held at the Senate Chamber on Friday 18th of September, 2020 at 4.00pm where all the nine (9) contestants were present. The purpose was to discuss and make final arrangements for the election of 21st September, 2020. There, while the issue of non-publication of the names of those who proposed and seconded our nominations was raised, we all agreed, nonetheless, without any dissenter, that we should proceed with the election. While it is true that the Registrar apologised for not publishing these names, there was no decision that the names of the proposer and seconder for each of the contestants be published before Monday, 21st September 2020-the day of the election. Integrity demands that we abide with the decision we all subscribed to and should not have it as one of the items in a petition.
The second claim made by the petitioner is that it is apparent that the platform for the e-voting was compromised and manipulated. The second window as pointed out by the petitioner is not supposed to be open to anyone until the end of voting. If people had access to it, what result would then be announced once it is already known? This does not seem to me to compromise the voting process in anyway.
While not holding brief for the technical committee, the so-called “freeze” of the link for about three minutes is not unusual when dealing with computer/internet applications.
With respect to the 20 votes declared for me, I affirm that this is the only result that was officially declared for me. I only saw the result of 50 votes in my favour on a social media platform which is not the official platform for the release of result. Hence, I consider this source to be grossly unreliable. I state, without any equivocation, that I do not doubt the authenticity of the official result of 20 votes declared for me. At any rate, petitioner was physically present at the venue of the Senate meeting to declare the result and he never made any attempt to raise any objection or observation. Writing a petition days after to me is an afterthought and attempt to bring the University name and the Senate to disrepute and using the Council as an ambush to truncate a transparent process.
The third issue raised by the petitioner concerns the email sent to all Senate members by a feckless and faceless group that named itself “Gasikiya Group” through the email address named “Gaskiya Gamji” on the 11th of September 26, 2020. It detailed how some groups within the university are rooting for the duo of Prof. E. O. Ayoola and Prof.P. O. Olagbegba to be their representatives at the Joint Council/Senate Selection Board for the appointment of the Vice Chancellor. The email was released 11 clear days before voting. In other words, if all members of Senate were aware of the antecedent of these candidates eleven days before voting and majority still chose to vote for them, so be it. It is each member’s inalienable right to vote for whoever they are convinced can represent the best interest of the University. No one has a right to dictate to them who to vote for. I am convinced that members of Senate voted according to their convictions on the day of the election.
On the issue of voting in Prof. Deji Omole’s office, Prof. Omole is well and alive, and I believe that he can defend himself. However, I expected the petitioner to mention at least one of the members of Senate that supposedly voted in Prof. Deji Omole’s office; otherwise the accusation could be treated as mere hearsay or an outright blackmail as he who alleges must proof. If we are sure of our facts it should be laid bare in the open. No doubt the stake is high, so those who have information should come to the open and present it.
On the issue of eligible members of Senate raise by another petitioner, the Senate office sent an email to all Hods’ and relevant organs of the university on the 20th of August, 2020 to update it with relevant information which led to the final updated versions sent to all Senator members on the 6th of September, 2020.
On the meeting of 18th September earlier mentioned above, the head of the technical crew, Prof. Ogunjuyigbe stated that a total of 639 Senate Members were accredited for the election and none of us raised any issue concerning it. Going by the results, 604 voted in the election, representing 94.52% who voted, meaning that only 35 eligible voters did not participate in the election, and one cannot ascertain what prevented the 35 from voting.
As a candidate in the election under reference, I am of the enlightened opinion that all the issues raised by the two petitioners are spurious and really non-issues as far as the credibility of the entire electoral process is concerned. I will therefore NOT support the cancellation of the election.
Sometimes last year, I was the Retuning Officer for the Oyo State-South Senatorial District election. There were all kinds of intimidation and threat to my life to act in certain way. I stood my ground and insisted on the truth. The rest is history. I can never be intimidated to act contrary to my convictions and I whole heartedly vouch for the integrity of the Joint Council/Senate Selection Board election. “