The Conference Of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has strongly condemned a publication by an online news portal, Sahara Reporters which alleged that the reappointed Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu paid N3 billion bribe to get his renominated for the office.
The CNPP in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu described the allegation as frivolous, maliciously conceived and too speculative to be true.
“We have painstakingly gone through the publication and found it to be nothing but handiwork of mischievous people who believe that the reappointment Prof Yakubu is standing against their bribing their way to desired political office in the country.
“The entire story was based on an interview with an “Insider”, which the very watery allegation prove that he exists only in the imagination of the malicious writer of the fake story.
According to the so called “top insider”, Prof Yakubu “paid at least N3bn in bribes to have his tenure as INEC Chairman extended by another five years.
“He paid a princely sum of N2bn to a group led by Senate President Ahmed Lawan and another N1bn to another group”, the publication alleged.
The second part of the allegation, which is most laughable reads that “These huge funds were deployed and mobilised by a civil servant and director in INEC, who is described as wealthy and in charge of a strategic department.”
“So, what is the interest of the so-called civivants and the director to warrant the sacrifice of raising a whooping N3 billion?
“For the fact that the writer was was not even certain about the bribe sum. To allege that he “paid at least N3bn in bribes” is nothing but wicked imagination aimed at tarnishing the image of the INEC Chairman.
“At least, implies uncertainty, just as the allegation does not add up. How can the “Insider” not be certain about something he witnessed?
“We can point fingers at some individuals who are using Sahara Reporters to get back at the INEC Chairman.
“The conduct of Edo and Ondo Governorship elections and the introduction of new measures that frustrated election riggers are more than enough to trigger the allegation after the surprise reappointment.
“They just needed to raise an allegation that will involve the reappointed INEC Chairman and the Senate President that will naturally preside over his screening for confirmation. The idea is to tie the hands of the Principal officers of the Senate, make them believe that the Senate President has taken bride.
“But who can believe such tale by moonlight, an old wife that is more confusing than convincing?
“Nigerian online media should learn to publish facts, not speculations like we have since in this instance.
“For us, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu has done well and that’s why CNPP never raised any objection against his reappointment”, the CNPP said.