By Idris Olumuyiwa.
A factional candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming Ondo gubernatorial election, Jimoh Ibrahim, has revealed that a staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) demanded a bribe of $1million from him.
The bribe, Jimoh said was the condition required that INEC entertain the court judgment certifying him as the sole candidate of the PDP.
Jimoh Ibrahim, while addressing newsmen in Abuja said he refused the request and has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari and the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmud Yakubu.
He further alleged that that the Ondo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Olusegun Agbaje “is a card carrying member of PDP that should not be trusted to conduct a free and fair election in the state” and asked for his removal.
Making available a copy of the said judgment to newsmen, Jimoh Ibrahim stressed that INEC must obey the order to the letter and recognise him as the sole candidate of the PDP in the forthcoming election.
INEC have however debunked Jimoh Ibrahim’s story. In a swift response, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi described all the allegations “as nothing but tissue of lies” which should be ignored by the general public.
“It is curious! How can someone make such a demand in an open place inside INEC office? This is false. Any proof?
“it is not true that our staff demanded one million dollar bribe from Jimoh Ibrahim. Two other officials of INEC witnessed the encounter between our staffand Jimoh Ibrahim
“The truth of the matter is that Jimoh Ibrahim brought a copy of his judgment and wanted to impress it on INEC to collect it. But we told him that we already have it. It is uncharitable and ungodly of a businessman of his stature to make this kind of allegation.”
“On the allegation against the Ondo REC, it is a tissue of lies fabricated by Jimoh Ibrahim. Honestly, the Ondo REC is one of the best RECs the Commission can boast of. He performed credibly in the Osun state governorship election, he did well while Kogi State as REC. To say the least, the man in question is an incorruptible person.
“It is part of the distractions we face everyday in the commission and we are used to it,. But, we are resolute, we will not be distracted by individuals or any political party. We are going ahead with the Ondo election, we will be fair to all.
“We can only appeal to the politicians to face their politics and allow INEC to do its assignment in accordance with the provisions of the law of the land.”