Jimoh Ibrahim, the controversial governorship candidate of the crisis-ridden Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State, has accused the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the State, Segun Agbaje, of conducting shady deals ahead of the November governorship poll.
Mr. Ibrahim alleged that Mr. Agbaje, who doubles as the head of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ondo State, arranged a meeting with him during a recent trip to London.
The gubernatorial candidate made the accusation in an interview he granted with Punch Newspaper published on Sunday.
Mr. Ibrahim claimed that Mr. Agbaje made a frantic effort to see him during the trip to London to discuss the November 26, 2016 governorship election in the State, but he turned it down
“This is somebody that wanted to see me in London at the graduation ceremony of his son to discuss the Ondo election. I told him [Segun Agbaje] I had no business with him. I am not out to rig the election in Ondo. I don’t want anybody to rig me in," Mr. Ibrahim stated.
“I am not saying that he is fraudulent but he [Segun Agbaje] 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?" he queried.
The embattled governorship candidate said it was embarrassing when Mr. Agbaje denied knowing him as the governorship candidate of the PDP.
Mr. Ibrahim added that his identity was denied when he obtained the governorship nomination forms from the Ali Modu Sheriff camp of the PDP.
He said that the electoral body ought to be an unbiased umpire in the electoral process of the country but added that the corruption within the commission was alarming.
Mr. Ibrahim’s accusation came as anxiety mounted in the crisis-ridden PDP in Ondo State over INEC's October 27, 2016 deadline for accepting gubernatorial candidates.
In the interview, Mr. Ibrahim further claimed that it took him a long time to submit his credentials with the electoral body for documentation after a court judgment.
He added that the electoral body, however, rejected the documents on a pretense that there were errors in the court judgment.
The PDP candidate further alleged that an official at the legal unit of the INEC office was seeking a bribe before she could accept the court judgment documents.
“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," Mr. Ibrahim told Punch Newspaper.
The controversial businessman had insisted that he remained the authentic governorship candidate of the PDP for the November election, adding that he would not step down for Eyitayo Jegede, a preferred stooge of the embattled Governor Olusegun Mimiko, who is also jostling for the seat.