THE Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has denied the allegation made by Jimoh Ibrahim that its official asked for $1m bribe before his name could be listed as the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State.
The commission in a statement by Adedeji Soyebi, its national commissioner in charge of Publicity, in Abuja, on Monday, October 24, said Toyin Babalola, acting director, Legal Services did not ask for bribe as alleged by Ibrahim.
Ibrahim, one of the two candidates laying claim to the ticket of the PDP for the election in the state, had alleged that Babalola demanded $1m bribe from him, before the order made by Justice Okon Abang of the federal high court, Abuja Division, could be complied with by the commission.
He also accused Segun Agbaje, resident commissioner for Ondo State, of being a member of the PDP and also playing what he described as “dirty deals.”
Ibrahim also alleged that the Ondo REC “requested to hold a meeting with him (Ibrahim) in far away London in the United Kingdom.”
However, Soyebi denied the allegations, saying that the preliminary investigation by the INEC had shown that Ibrahim was not saying the truth. Hence, he said: “The commission hereby states, for the record, that from its preliminary investigation, nothing can be farther from the truth.
“On the first allegation, our investigation revealed that Mr. Ibrahim turned up at the INEC headquarters, Abuja, unannounced; made his way to Mrs. Babalola’s office; brandished a copy of the court document and insisted that INEC should accept him as the official candidate of the PDP for the Ondo governorship poll.
“On sighting the unexpected guest, Mrs. Babalola called three other lawyers in her department to witness her encounter with Mr. Ibrahim and politely told him that the commission was already in possession of the court document.
“At no time, during the encounter that lasted for less than 15 minutes, did Mrs. Babalola ask for $1m. Therefore, the allegation by Mr. Ibrahim is false.”
Soyebi stated that court orders/judgments were usually served by court bailiffs and not individual parties.
Apart from that, he said that the INEC only received nomination papers from the national chairmen of political parties or their designated officials and not from aspirants.
— Oct 25, 2016 @ 16:50 GMT