The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has refuted the allegation by Jimoh Ibrahim that its official demanded for $1m bribe before his name could be inserted as the ‘authentic’ candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State.
The electoral body in a statement by its National Commissioner in charge of Publicity, Mr. Adedeji Soyebi, in Abuja on Monday, said the Acting Director, Legal Services Mrs. Toyin Babalola never at any point asked for bribe as alleged by Ibrahim.
Ibrahim, one of the claimants to the ticket of the PDP for the election, had claimed that Babalola asked for $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.
The Energy Oil boss also claimed that the Commission’s Resident Electoral Commissioner for Ondo State, Mr. Segun Agbaje of working against his candidature.
Ibrahim also alleged that the Ondo REC “requested to hold a meeting with him (Ibrahim) in far away London, in the United Kingdom.”
Reacting, however, Soyebi, said the preliminary investigation by the commission indicated that Ibrahim was only economical with the truth.
He said, “The commission hereby states, for the records, 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 less than 15 minutes did Mrs Babalola ask for $1m.