By Samuel Faleye, Akure
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has arraigned seven persons arrested during the recently held Governorship Election in Ondo State for electoral offences before two Magistrate Courts in Akure, the state capital.
The suspects are Adejoye Emmanuel age 30, Olomojuni Morire, 27, Ololajulo Oladeji, 36, and Ebigbemi Ajinde 26.
The four suspects were arraigned at the Magistrate Court at Olukayode House, hospital road in Akure last week.
Others who were arraigned at the Magistrate Court at Oke-Eda on Tuesday include Aminu Sunday age 29, Fagbemi Segun, 30, and Tope Awe, 28.
The alleged offenders were said to have committed an electoral offence contrary to and punishable under section 129 (1) and (4) of the electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
The prosecution counsel, Mr. Adeniyi Lawal said Adejoye, Olomojuni and Ololajulo were allegedly arrested with eight Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) at Mahin Ward 1 unit 16 Igokoda in Ilaje Local Government Area of the state on the election day.
He added that Ebigbemi was also arrested for allegedly causing breach of the peace at Ekitan Ward unit 10 Okonla in the same local government area of the state on the election day.
Lawal said the trio, Aminu, Fagbemi, and Tope were nabbed by the police at Oke-Ijebu, Akure for allegedly being possession of sharp cutlass in his vehicle while going for voting exercise.
But, counsel to the defedants, Femi Adetoye at the court yesterday argued that the INEC has no constitutional right to prosecute electoral offenders.
Adetoye noted that the prosecution of electoral offenders lie in the hand of the attorney-General .
The INEC lawyer faulted the claim, saying by section 150 of the electoral act, the commission has the power to prosecute offenders.
The Chief Magistrate, Bob Manuel however ruled in favour of the INEC and thereby adjourned the matter till February 16.