The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has refuted widely published allegations credited to Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, that the Commission’s Acting Director, Legal Services, Mrs. Toyin Babalola, asked for $1,000,000 (one million dollars) bribe from him and that the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of Ondo, Mr. Olusegun Agbaje, requested to hold a meeting with him in London. The Commission described Mr. Jimoh’s allegations as false and assured Nigerians of its adherence to the rule of law.
In a press statement signed and issued yesterday (Monday, October 24, 2016) by the Commission’s Chairman on Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Prince Adedeji Soyebi, INEC frowned at various newspaper reports, published on Monday, October 24, 2016, saying that Mr. Jimoh alleged that the Commission’s Acting Director, Legal Services, Mrs. Toyin Babalola asked for $1,000,000 (one million dollars) 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 Commission explained that its preliminary investigation indicated that “Mr. Jimoh 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”.
It further explained that: “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 him for $1millon dollars. Therefore the allegation by Mr. Ibrahim is false.”
On the second allegation, the Commission disclosed that contrary to his claims, “it was Mr. Ibrahim who through an intermediary, tried to arrange a meeting with Ondo state REC in London. This Mr. Agbaje promptly declined and insisted that if Mr. Ibrahim wanted to see him (Agbaje), he was free to do so at the Ondo State INEC office during official hours. Therefore, Mr. Ibrahim’s allegation cannot be the correct account of what actually took place,” the Commission maintained.
The Commission assured Nigerians that it would never succumb to any form of blackmail or intimidation, but that it would remain focused on its determination to deliver, free, transparent and credible elections based on the rule of law.