Jimoh Ibrahim exposes how Ondo INEC boss arranged secret meeting with him in London
>>>INEC people demanded $1million dollars bribe from me
A governorship candidate of the PDP, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, has exposed how Mr. Segun Agbaje, the INEC commissioner in Ondo state, arranged a secret meeting with him in London over the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Mr. Ibrahim said he turned down the meeting when he got to know that the INEC commissioner was planning how to help him rig the governorship election at the meeting.
His words: “Agbaje claimed not to know me. I was embarrassed. How would he say he does not know me? He had been a member of the PDP. The All Progressives Congress recently demanded his removal.
“This is somebody that wanted to see me in London at the graduation ceremony of his son to discuss Ondo election. I told him I had no business with him. I am not out to rig election in Ondo. I don’t want anybody to rig me in. I am not saying that he is fraudulent but he arranged a London meeting and I said no.
“I have a call record of the conversations. How can I go and see the INEC REC in London because I want to be governor in Ondo State? This is not right.’ Mr. Agbaje should be invited by the security operatives to explain this action.”
“When I obtained my nomination form from the Sheriff-led national leadership of the PDP, the INEC commissioner in Ondo State claimed not to know me. I was embarrassed. How would he say he does not know me? He had been a member of the PDP. The All Progressives Congress recently demanded his removal. This is somebody that wanted to see me in London at the graduation ceremony of his son to discuss Ondo election. I told him I had no business with him. I am not out to rig election in Ondo. I don’t want anybody to rig me in. I am not saying that he is fraudulent but he arranged a London meeting and I said no.
“I have a call record of the conversations. How can I go and see the INEC REC in London because I want to be governor in Ondo State? This is not right. What we are insisting is that the court has said we should publish this name; until an appellate court or the Supreme Court says no, you are bound by that order. Don’t tell me to reconcile.
On why he condemned a statement credited to the spokesperson for INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, which said that INEC has up till October 27 to decide on who it will accept as the authentic PDP candidate, Ibrahim said: “Before, I saw the Independent National Electoral Commission as an unbiased umpire but the corruption within the electoral body is alarming now.
“For instance, when I was going to submit my nomination form, I took the first batch of the forms signed by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff to INEC. It took me one minute to do that at INEC. When I was to submit the second batch of the forms, signed by the state chairman of the PDP (with the judgment of the court saying that he should be the one to sign my nomination), the boy who took the form to the INEC office told me that INEC rejected the form. I was shocked.
“I went to the INEC office and asked why they rejected the document. I waited for four hours. After four hours, I asked again what the problem was. I then asked for the legal department, where I met a female official. I saw the boy who rejected my form with her. The woman told me they would not receive the form. She said there was an error in the court judgment. I asked her how she knew that there was an error in the judgment when she had not even checked what we brought. I was shocked when she demanded $1m from me before she could accept the document. I thought it was a joke. I told her I won’t give out any money.
“I got a phone call that my name was rejected (at INEC). The female official told us that unless we have a court order to correct that mistake, she won’t take my form. So, we went back to the court to enforce the judgment. We went to tell the court that its judgment was not obeyed. I insisted that the court must protect its judgment.
“If it was in the United Kingdom that a court order was not obeyed, such a fellow would be sent to jail. INEC came to court again with an unsigned affidavit. Somebody gave them money and they were in a hurry to do the person’s bidding. How can you go to a commissioner of oath with an unsigned affidavit? The lawyer said an affidavit that was not signed was invalid. Apparently they forgot this. We served INEC a court judgment, which was published in the media.
“The next thing we heard was that INEC said that it will obey court order but that it was studying it (court order). What are you studying? This is a court order. INEC has no right to say that. By that statement, it is insulting the integrity of the judiciary and the court.
“If it was a court order in the favour of Governor Olusegun Mimiko, will they say that they are studying it? Then, the next thing we heard from the INEC’s spokesperson was that anything could still happen before October 27. A respected institution like INEC cannot be talking from both sides of its mouth. Why will the spokesperson say that INEC would obey a court judgment but that anything can still happen between now and October 27?
“That is very embarrassing. Then, I read again that the same INEC said they gave us between now and October 27 to reconcile. Is INEC now an arbitrator? There is a judgment on the ground. How can INEC be telling Nigerians that it gave us till October 27? The opportunity to add and delete (names of candidates) is over. The minute INEC was served the court judgment (affirming me as the authentic candidate), my particulars should have been displayed by INEC. What is the electoral body waiting for? There is a court order. Unless there is a specific one from an appeal court that says INEC cannot do that. But it is not so in this case.
Speaking on speculations that he may be asked to step down if the reconciliatory meeting between Sheriff and Makarfi goes well, the candidate said: ” How can I step down? In Edo State, the Makarfi faction presented the PDP candidate there. So, in Ondo, who should have it? Is it not Sheriff? I can’t step down. The opportunity for INEC to add and delete the names of candidates has expired.
“There is a court order affirming me as the PDP candidate. Am I going to change the decision of the court? Will I compromise the judgment of the court? I am also a lawyer. I cannot do that. Jegede is a lawyer, he understands this too. It is not possible. If he likes, he can continue to campaign. As far as I am concerned, I am the authentic candidate. His campaign doesn’t matter to me. What I know is that I am the candidate of the PDP. So, anybody can be campaigning for me”