Factional candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the November 26 Ondo State governorship election, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are at loggerheads after the controversial businessman accused INEC’s acting legal adviser, Mrs. O. O. Babalola, of demanding $1 million bribe from him.
It would be recalled that Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, two weeks ago, ordered INEC to recognise Ibrahim, the candidate of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff led-PDP faction as the party flag-bearer in the forthcoming Ondo governorship election.
Before the controversial judgement, INEC had accepted the candidate of Senator Ahmed Makarfi led-PDP faction, Hon. Eyitayo Jegede .
A new twist was on Sunday added to the unfolding drama when Jimoh Ibrahim at a press conference alleged that INEC’s acting legal adviser, Mrs. O. O. Babalola demanded $1 million bribe from him before INEC would obey the court ruling and list him as the party’s candidate for the election.
“One of the officials demanded $1 million bribe from me to process the court judgement. “I was shocked. She said I should bring $1 million or another order of court before she can do her job. I asked which job? She insisted that she will not obey that court order and if I don’t pay, she will not do it unless we bring another court order.
“Like a joke, she published another person’s name from Governor Olusegun Mimiko.” Ibrahim said.
However, Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, has refuted Jimoh Ibrahim’s bribery claim against Mrs. Babalola
His word, “It is not true that Mrs. Babalola demanded $1 million bribe from Jimoh Ibrahim. Two other officials of INEC witnessed the encounter between Mrs. Babalola and Ibrahim.
“Ibrahim brought a copy of his judgement and wanted to impress it on INEC to collect it. But we told him that we already have it. It is uncharitable and ungodly of businessman of his stature to make this kind of allegation.”