#Ekitigate: What we learnt from Tope Aluko’s interview on Channels T.V

Last night, in an exclusive interview on “Sunday Politics,” a show which aired on Channels Television, Dr. Aluko spoke extensively on how former President Goodluck Jonathan gave Ayodele Fayose $37 million dollars to rig Ekiti’s governorship elections in 2014. A suspicion many hinted at when an audio file came out, but never had further evidence to prove. Tope Aluko, former secretary of the PDP in Ekiti state, who was also close friends with the incumbent governor, Ayodele Fayose, made some damning revelations on live television yesterday. He stated that the money was released by Sambo Dasuki, former National Security Adviser and then he presented some documents he termed as “evidence” to support his statements.

Yesterday’s broadcast on Channels Television seemingly opened a can of worms, as social media has been abuzz with #EkitiGate over the last couple of hours. Below are some highlights of the interview and how Nigerians have reacted so far:

Here are a few deductions we can make from the interview and what these revelations suggest about Tope Aluko’s role in the #EkitiGate saga:

Tope Aluko may have lied under oath

Tope Aluko was a key witness at the election tribunals held after the Ekiti state elections in 2014. However, he was still close friends with Fayose at that time and his testimony was key to Fayose’s win at the tribunal and his subsequent confirmation as Governor of Ekiti state by the Supreme Court. Yesterday’s interview raises questions surrounding his testimony at the witness stand and whether he lied under to support his friend, the governor. This, if found to be true, is likely to lead to a case of perjury against him.

Is he trying to save himself or is it just “sour grapes”?

When asked if he knew that his statements on live TV could also implicate him, he didn’t appear to care very much. Nonetheless, the timing of this development is perfect considering that the war against corruption is in full swing–military officials implicated in the Ekiti election debacle are being picked up one after the other by EFCC officials. His interview yesterday does not excuse him from his offences, if any, in the whole issue as he is an accessory to the crime. This is because he knew about the plans to rig and didn’t divulge any of this information before or after the elections and will be tried for obstruction of justice if it comes down to it. However, it may also be that he is hoping to get a plea bargain, and what if he does?

Also, Aluko’s revelations come across as a case of “sour grapes” as this may have been revenge after his falling out with Fayose over “denying” him the position of Chief of Staff, as promised.

Goodluck Jonathan could be implicated

Nigeria’s former president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has, since his handing over, pleaded innocence to the corruption that went on under his administration. The former president has been touring the world receiving awards for his contributions to democracy in Nigeria. However, these revelations, if true, can see him indicted for corruption charges, a scenario which could make his Economist title of “ineffectual buffoon” a reality.

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