The Chairman of the APC Electoral Panel which presided over the party’s recent primaries in Kaduna State, Mr. Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, has alleged that Senator Shehu Sani offered him a bribe to get an affirmation for his controversial automatic ticket.
Iduoriyekemwen dropped the bombshell while responding to questions over allegations that the committee was bribed to skew the primary election results in favour of some aspirants of the APC in the state.
Iduoriyekemwen said: “The only person in Kaduna State who offered me money was Senator Shehu Sani through one of my comittee members, to inform me that N10m gift was set aside for the committee chairman, and I said we didn’t need the money, asking them what the money was for.
“Even after the primaries, before the announcement of results, Senator Shehu and his men put pressure on us to come and take the money. He called me several times but we made it clear to him that we didn’t need cash inducement at all.”
The electoral panel chairman also disclosed that the incumbent Kaduna Central Senator made last-minute efforts to get him to accept the offer to no avail.
Iduoriyekemwen, who is also a former Majority Leader of Edo State House of Assembly and one-time board member of the Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC) also expressed readiness to forward the telephone number of his committee member through whom the pledge of N10m offer was announced to the leadership of the panel.
The Electoral Panel Chairman also expressed satisfaction with the manner in which the election was conducted, describing it as “peaceful, orderly and rancour-free”.
Contacted on the telephone by our correspondent, a member of the APC Electoral Committee, Mr. Akeem Okedara, also denied the allegation that the committee was bribed to skew the primary election results in favour of some aspirants of the APC in the state.
“There was nothing like that. It was Shehu Sani who wanted to give us something but we turned it down,” he said.
However, in a swift reaction, Senator Sani described the allegation against him as “frivolous and mischievous.”
Speaking through his media aide, Abdulsamad Chima Amadi, Senator Sani said: “Our attention has been drawn to a mischievous and frivolous news making the rounds that the chairman of the Kaduna APC electoral panel purportedly claimed he was offered financial inducements by Senator Shehu Sani.
“The committee chairman probably had a dream to that effect. It is laughable for him to claim an aspirant who was the sole candidate cleared in Kaduna central offered him financial inducements.
“First of all, Senator Shehu Sani virtually had no rival in the primaries. He was the only person cleared. So what does he need to bribe the committee for?
“Secondly, when the committee and the state government connived to stage a fake senatorial primaries in Kaduna State, Senator Shehu Sani made it cristal clear that he was not going to participate in the so called primaries because it was an illegality.
So when you look at it from all angles, Senator Shehu Sani had no reasons whatsoever to bribe the committee.
“Senator Shehu Sani is a distinguished and law abiding citizen who has over the years earned a good name for himself through his uncompromising stance against corruption.
“It is obvious that some desperate politicians who have become synonymous with failure are behind these baseless and frivolous accusations.
“Just like all their attempts to malign, frame up, intimidate and harm Senator Shehu in the past failed, this one too has failed on arrival.
“No amount of blackmail will deter or destract Senator Shehu Sani. We stand by the mandate given to him by the APC and good people of Kaduna Central and, as usual, that mandate shall be put to good use for the betterment of our people.”