…He never promoted illegality — Ex-gov’s aide
By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA — A former Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in Ondo State, Dr Segun Agbaje, yesterday, recalled how the immediate past governor of the state, Dr Olusegun Mimiko wanted him to swing the 2015 general election results in favour of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
He spoke in Abuja when the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu swore-in seven new Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs.
The new RECs are Uthman Ajidagba, Kwara; Yahaya Bello, Nasarawa State; Emmanuel Hart, Rivers; Mohammed Ibrahim, Gombe and Cyril Omorogbe, Edo.
Others are Baba Yusuf and Segun Agbaje, representing Borno and Ekiti states and who are returning for a second term.
Asked to give a vote of thanks after the swearing in, Dr Agbaje said: “The governor of the state asked me at about 1:30am to quickly see him at the Government House, Ondo State. I said, ‘Your Excellency, this is a very ungodly hour.
We have 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 visit the governor. He said okay, if I cannot come that he will meet me at my residence’.
I was like ‘Your Excellency, you did not come there yesterday, two days ago or since I came to Ondo state, why will you now come and at 1:30am?’ I said I won’t come.”
“We dropped the conversation and less than 10 days later, a brother of mine working in Abuja sent me a text which read that ‘Segun Agbaje the REC is now with Gov. Mimiko collecting N50 million’.
I just felt I should share this because this is one of the areas that you can fall prey if you are not careful because I could have gone there and cameras would be set for me and maybe later in the morning, before we declared the election results, the House of Representatives, Senate and Presidential which we sent to the national headquarters for final collation, I could get a call and those things could be sent to me that if I did not change the results of the election, that they will publish the pictures”, he recalled.
Reacting to the allegations, Chief Press Secretary to the former governor, Eni Akinsola said: “As a governor, Dr. Mimiko had cause to relate with the REC, as he had with the DSS, 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, or attempted or sought the perversion of legal processes.
“We have not had the privilege of listening to the exact words of the REC, so, it may not be in the right position to respond to words we are not sure of. When we get well apprised with the facts of his comments, we may then find a reason to respond in the right manner.”