Jimoh Ibrahim, governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo state, says an official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) demanded $1 million to accept his governorship nomination forms.
In an interview with PUNCH, Ibrahim said the corruption within the electoral body was alarming.
He said when he obtained his governorship nomination forms from the Ali Modu Sheriff led PDP, the INEC commissioner in Akure claimed not to know him.
“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,” Ibrahim said.
“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.”
He further said INEC agreed to obey the court order but stated that it was still studying it.
“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,” he added.
Ibrahim claimed that he would have contested the governorship election four years ago, but Goodluck Jonathan, former president, begged him to allow Olusegun Mimiko, Ondo state governor, run for a second term in office.
“During the last election that was held in Ondo, I had prepared to be governor. I am happy that former President Goodluck Jonathan is still alive. He called me and said he wanted Mimiko to do a second term,” he said.
“He said people will be abusing us (Peoples Democratic Party) that we are not tolerant of the opposition. He said I should, please, allow him (Mimiko) to be governor. He said in 2016, he would roll out everything in my favour to be the state governor.
“Mimiko then came to my house at the Victoria Garden City, Lagos, and we took pictures together. I gave him advice on how to run the state. This is 2016. He is not talking about it (agreement) again.
“After they described me as a mole in the PDP, and that I was working for President Muhammadu Buhari, the then President Jonathan stopped talking to me. I don’t know why Mimiko is afraid of me.
“He is my friend. Mimiko is very close to me and my wife. As we speak, he can walk into my house and ask for food. My wife would cook for him. My wife is very close to him. His wife is also very close to me.”
When asked of his view of Mimiko’s administration in the state, Ibrahim said: “Mimiko is a black swan. In Ondo, it is unfortunate that we have such a person as the governor. I am surprised how Ondo came about the candidature of Mimiko.
“Right now, workers and pensioners have not been paid for many months. Why should this happen in an oil-producing state? I don’t want to be involved in sentiments. If I say too much, people will say I am from the same PDP. But these are raw facts. Mimiko has less than 30 days to go.
“Never again will Ondo State be deceived by this kind of a person. Mimiko collected about N1tn in the last eight years of his administration. Where are the roads? The state of things in Ondo is unfortunate.”