The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has refuted the allegations of appointing Femi Odubiyi, a former commissioner in Lagos state, as head of its Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Department.
INEC was reacting to a statement credited to the Chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olabode George that the former commissioner is the new head of ICT at INEC.
George had called on Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, to remove Odubiyi because of his closeness to Bola Tinubu, the president-elect.
“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.”
“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, 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 had said.
Reacting to the allegation, Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner, in a statement on Wednesday, said the PDP chieftain’s allegation is far from the truth.
“The attention of the Commission has been drawn to a widely publicised report attributed to a well known Lagos politician, Chief Olabode George, that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has appointed one Femi Odubiyi, a former Commissioner in Lagos State and an associate of a prominent politician, as its Head of ICT. Nothing can be further from the truth,” the statement reads
“To set the record straight, the name “Femi Odubiyi” does not even exist within our ICT Department at the INEC headquarters in Abuja or any State office of the Commission.
“Our ICT staff are career officers of the Commission. None has held any political appointment in any State of the Federation.
“The public is urged to disregard the story. Its promoter should have been circumspect so as not to be seen as a purveyor of fake news.”