INEC alleges Ibrahim planned meeting with REC in London
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday alleged that Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim tried to use an intermediary to arrange a meeting with the Ondo State Resident Electoral Commission, (REC) Mr. Segun Abaje in London.
INEC made the clarification, following an allegation by Ibrahim that its officials demanded a $1million bribe from him.
He accused INEC Director, Legal services, Mrs. Toyin Babalola of making the demand before the commission could carry out the order by Justice Okon Abang on the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State.
According to a report, Ibrahim further alleged that the REC requested to hold a meeting with him in London on the issue.
But, INEC in a statement by its National Commissioner, Prince Adedeji, dismissed the allegations, saying its preliminary investigation revealed that Ibrahim came to the INEC Headquarters in Abuja on the fateful day unannounced.
He explained that he came with a copy of the court document and insisted that the commission should accept him as the official candidate of the PDP in the governorship polls.
The statement reads: “On sighting the unexpected guest, Mrs. Babalola called three other lawyers in her department to witness her encounter with him. She politely told him that the commission was already in possession of the court document.
“There was no time during the encounter that lasted less than 15 minutes that Mrs. Babalola asked for $1 million.”
In absolving its officials of any complicity, INEC said it is court bailiffs and not individuals that serve court orders and judgments.
On the issue of candidates, INEC added that it is the political party that sends nomination papers from its national chairman or their designated officials and not aspirants.
The statement said Ibrahim‘s allegation against Agbaje was not the correct account of what took place. He added that the REC had insisted that Ibrahim could only see him during office hours at INEC’s office.
The commission promised Nigerians that it would not succumb to any form of blackmail or intimidation, but would remain focused on its determination to deliver free, transparent and credible elections based on the rule of law.