Factional candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the November 26 govenorship poll in Ondo State, Dr Jimoh Ibrahim, on Sunday alleged that a top official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters in Abuja demanded a $1 million bribe from him before the commission could entertain court judgment which certified him as the authentic candidate of the party in the election
Addressing news men in Abuja, he said he bluntly rejected the deal and consequently petitioned the President, Mohammadu Buhari and INEC chairman, Professor Mahmud Yakubu for their quick intervention
Ibrahim also alleged that the Ondo State Resident Electoral Commission (REC) 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 demanded for his removal
However, in a swift reaction to the allegations leveled against the Commission and its officials, the INEC through the Chief Press Secretary to its 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.”
Ibrahim, in a petition to President Muhammadu Buhari, made available to journalists alleged that the INEC official demanded for $1 million before obeying the court judgment over Ondo election.
Declaring that INEC could not be an Appeal court to a valid ruling of the Court which it earlier promised to obey, he maintained that he remained the authentic PDP candidate for the election in Ondo State based on the Court pronouncement on the matter.
The copy of the court ruling, which he distributed to the newsmen read,”that IMEC, the 1st Respondent/Alleged Contemptnor shall accept and process for the purpose of its functions and activities in organization and conduct of Ondo State Governorship election only the nomination of Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim who emerged from primary election conducted by the 1st and 2nd judgment Creditors/ Applicants on 29th August,2016 as the Candidate of the PDP in the said Ondo State Governorship election slated for November 2016.
“This is an order that must be obeyed to the letter by INEC, the election is slated for November, the Candidate is jimoh Ibrahim and the party is PDP, for the commission to now say thay are still studying is it is nonsense.”
Ibrahim made it clear that the matter had nothing to do with the existing factions between Ali Modu Sheriff and Ahmed Makarif, saying that the matter took place when Sheriff was the undisputed national chairman of PDP.