The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Adams Oshiomhole, has dismissed allegations that he collected bribes of about $80m to manipulate the outcome of the party primaries in some states and FCT. He did not however provide details in his denial.
Some aggrieved aspirants are accusing Oshiohmole of collecting various sums in bribery to twist the primaries.
Speculations are also gaining currency that he was last week interrogated by the Department of State Service (DSS) over the outcome of the recently conducted APC primaries.
An online media outfit which allegedly accused the APC chairman of collecting about $80m in bribes, however, reported that Oshiomhole had become a target after refusing $500,000 bribe cash from one of the aggrieved APC governors.
It reported that the affected governor had wanted the APC chairman to adopt his anointed governorship candidate.
“It was gathered that many godfathers and governorship candidates were desperate for tickets but Oshiomhole stood his ground that he will not compromise party guidelines,’’ it further stated.
But, Oshiomhole, who spoke to State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, described the allegations of corruption against him as reckless insinuation. “No tree that will bear fruits that will grow in Sahara desert and the fact the publisher of Saharareporters himself is a presidential aspirant we would soon find out the difference between Sahara and its reporters, and a green forest and its reporters.
“The unfortunate thing here, however, is that people, who specialize in libels they take advantage of our peculiar judicial system. When I was a governor in Edo state, they published all kinds of things against me. At a point I decided to go to court and my lawyer told me that I have to be ready to enter the witness box to make my case – whether I was ready to go through that humiliation.
“What is in the governorship? Before I became the governor I entered the witness box and I know after being governor I can still go back there one day. So I went there and I won the case. They awarded damages in my favour.
“But by the time you want to check the process of the guy who libeled you and so on, everything put together he could not compensate for legal fee not to talk of really mitigating my paying as a result of the judgment,’’ he said.
On the forthcoming campaign programmes of the APC, Oshiohmole revealed that the party’s campaign for the 2019 presidential election would focus on character and integrity of the key candidates.
According to the party chairman, the APC is fully ready to flag off the campaigns soon.