Ondo REC Threatens To Sue Jimoh Ibrahim, APC Spokesman Over Fraud Allegations
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Ondo State, Mr. Olusegun Agbaje, has threatened to drag factional candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, and Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Omo’ba Abayomi Adesanya, to court over weighty allegations of fraud and corruption levelled against him.
Agbaje made the threat while addressing a cross-section of religious leaders at the office of the commission in Akure.
He said he had already written to INEC headquarters on his intention to sue both Adesanya and Ibrahim to court for defaming his character by accusing him of corruption.
On Sunday, Jimoh Ibrahim in an interview granted the Punch Newspaper accused Agbaje of arranging a meeting with him during a recent trip to London.
He claimed that the Ondo REC made frantic efforts to see him during the London trip so as to discuss the November 26th, 2016 governorship election in Ondo State, but he turned him down.
Ibrahim said of Agbaje: “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 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.”
Also last week, the APC publicist in Ondo State, Adesanya, accused heads of INEC of fraternizing with key loyalists of Governor Olusegun Mimiko ahead of the governorship election.
Adesanya specifically asked anti-graft agencies to investigate the activities of the commission by probing its two top officials in the state.
He said: “We are not comfortable with the unholy relationship between the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Segun Agbaje, and the Administrative Secretary, Alhaji Kabir Omosanya, who have been having a romance with a faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State led by its embattled Chairman, Clement Faboyede.
“We further call on the Department of State Security (DSS) and the Police to thoroughly investigate Segun Agbaje and mostly Kabir Omosanya for fraud, corruption, partisanship and unprofessional conduct."
Agbaje, however, said the allegations were untrue, adding that Abayomi and Ibrahim were only out to blackmail him and discredit the electoral commission.
He told his guests: “The allegations are really sad and unfortunate, and I know their intention is to cow us and make us withdraw by diverting our intention.
“I can tell you that all the allegations are lies meant to divide this commission and distract our attention ahead of the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
“I have made my recommendation known to the Chairman of the commission, and also asked his approval to sue the person that signed the letter (statement).
“I won’t allow anyone to defame my character because I have a name to protect on this job and I shall resist any form of intimidation, harassment, or any attack on the integrity of this commission.”
The REC also said only the legal team at INEC headquarters in Abuja could resolve the contention between Ibrahim and Eyitayo Jegede over the rightful governorship candidate for the PDP.
“The commission doesn’t have any sympathy for any particular candidate because it is not a family affair. Whatever the court says, the commission is bound to sit down with the Legal department to look into the implications of the various judgments and then take a decision.
“So, the INEC headquarters has the final say and whatever they say would be communicated to us here in the state, and that we shall abide with.”
Agbaje reaffirmed the commission’s readiness to conduct a transparent governorship election, with the re-training of its staff. According to him, no fewer than three hundred and thirty thousand Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) were, however, yet to be collected from the office of the commission in Akure by their owners.
He also disclosed that twenty-eight political parties would be participating in the November 26th, 2016 governorship election.
According to him, INEC will publish the final list of political parties and names of their candidates by Thursday, October 27th, 2016.
“That is exactly 30 days to the election when, according to the Electoral Act, INEC is supposed to give the Voter Register to the candidates,” the REC added.