REC allegedly removes gateman’s tooth with punches
By Tola Gbadamosi
A 42-year-old gateman with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Akure, Ondo State, Mr George Ala, posted to the official quarters of the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Rufus Akeju has lost his tooth over an alleged attack by his boss, the REC on him.
The gateman, who spoke with The Hope Metro has now been hospitalized at a private hospital in Akure over the incident.
Ala, alleged that the Resident Electoral Commissioner gave him a beating which landed him in the hospital over his failure to get electricity supplied to his sitting room when the electricity from the Benin Electricity Distribution (BEDC) went off.
The gateman told our correspondent that the REC allegedly got infuriated over this and gave him a beating during which he lost his tooth.
He said since last week when the incident occurred, he has been hospitalized, adding that though the REC had settled with him by sending him N5,000 to argument his hospital bill.
When he was visited at the hospital in Akure, he was seen to be on drip and recuperating.
A member of the Management team of INEC in the state, Alhaji Saheed Onijo, who spoke with our correspondent on the issue said the REC sent some of the staff to visit the gateman but were not allowed access to him.
He said: “When we heard about the incident, we discussed with the REC. Eventually on my own alongside other members of staff, we tried to locate Mr. Ala, we have been there three times, and we were not allowed to see him.
“I could remember vividly this morning (Thursday), REC directed us to go there again and when we got there, we were prevented from seeing him,” he added.
In a chat with the REC, Mr Akeju Rufus, he said the development was untrue and that he did not beat up the gateman.
According to him, Ala only came that very night to relieve the gateman at his official quarter who took ill.
He said on the very day, he instructed Mr Ala to put on the generator when power from BEDC went off but he did not put it on and that at the end the generator got spoilt, but was later fixed after he complained to the head of security.
He said that it is well- known that most gatemen do not like to be posted to the REC’s residence because they would be properly monitored.
The REC insisted that he did not touch him “I did not touch him or mishandled him in any way. I am a 72 year-old man, I have learnt that you don’t hit people because you don’t know who is using a life support that could die at anytime.
“I have served as a REC in Osun and Oyo states before coming to Ondo,” he added.