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Published On: Thu, Apr 19th, 2018

N50m bribery allegation rocks Ondo 2015 election

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….Count Mimiko out, spokesman

By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja

A Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Olusegun Agbaje alleged that former governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko attempted to bribe him to influence the results of the presidential and National Assembly elections in 2015.
Agbaje, who was one of the seven newly sworn Resident Electoral Commissioners by the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said he was invited to Ondo State government house at about 1.30 am, for a meeting with the governor, which he turned down.
According to him, him: “In 2015, after the presidential election, about 1.30 am, we were doing collation in the conference room in Ondo State at the conference hall.
“I got a call around 1.30 am. The then VC University of Agric Abeokuta was our returning officer. The call came from the governor of the state asking me at that time to quickly see him at the Government House in Ondo State.
“I said, your Excellency, this is a very ungodly hour. We had started the particular job of collation and any REC that is worth his salt will not abandon the returning officer in Ondo and go to Akure to go and meet a governor’.
“He said ok, if I could not come to Government House, he would meet me at my residence. I said ‘Your Excellency, since I came to Ondo you have not visited me. Why would it be 1.30am in the night. I told him I would not come’.
“Less than 10 minutes later, a brother of mine working in the service in Abuja sent me a text which read that Segun Agbaje, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ondo State is now with Governor Mimiko collecting N50 million.
“I felt I should share this because this is part of the areas that you can fall prey and if somebody is not very careful, you can get into trouble because I could have gone there, cameras could have been set for me which later in the morning, before we declare the result of National Assembly and presidential elections, which we were to forward to the national headquarters for final collation, I could get a call that I if I don’t change the results that I was about to declare, that it would be published and then I would be in serious trouble,” he narated.
But Chief President Secretary to the former governor, Eni Akinsola said Dr. Mimiko has not been involved in any illegality while in office.
Akinsola who was immediately contacted for his reaction, said the former governor might fully respond when appraised with the facts of the matter.
In his words, “As a governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko had cause to relate with the REC, as he had with the SSS, Police and indeed all agencies concerned with security and elections on several occasions before, during and after the election.
“He never, did anything however to promote any illegality. He neither attempted nor sought the perversion of legal processes,” he defended.
The Chairman of theCommission, Prof. Yakubu had earlier charged the newly sworn in RECs to be firm and courageous on the side of the law, as well as INEC’s regulations and guidelines.
He expressed the confidence that they would bring their past experiences to bear in their new assignment.
The Chairman assured that 2019 general election will be the best ever election in the country.

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