Mimiko: Profile In Treachery – By Louis Odion

A cartoon published earlier by Punch offers perhaps the most prophetic foreword to the political tragedy that climaxed in Ondo on November 26. Someone in an unconscious state is sketched being hustled away from the shelter of the Iroko (big oak tree) as the Good Samaritan mutters, “struck by lightning”.

Indisputably, the Iroko moniker is patent for the brand of politics Dr. Olusegun Mimiko has retailed in Ondo State in the past two decades. The ill-starred vagrant depicted in the cartoon could only be Eyitayo Jegede, a senior advocate he had anointed to succeed him as governor, only to finish poorly in last weekend’s polls.

The cartoonist’s surreal evocation is obviously rooted in Yoruba cosmology, which ordinarily invests the Iroko shrub with some metaphysical prowess. But in the event that such powers prove impotent under a tempest, so much that the proverbial lightning could strike so viciously right under its shadow, it is then safe to conclude that such Iroko must have “gba abode” (come under an evil spell).

What remains therefore is its decapitation as a rite in exorcism.

For a man who has more or less dominated Ondo politics in the last decade, so sad that Mimiko would end riotously on a low. Now completely stripped after the November 26 endgame and haunted still by the grotesque shadow of PDP in complete disarray on account of factionalization, it would be entirely surprising today if Iroko is not already filled with nostalgia for the comfort and the peace of mind the old Labour Party had provided him before greed for power lured him to PDP in 2014.

For an outgoing governor, nothing indeed could be traumatizing as the thoughts of a hostile takeover. For a man obsessed with the affectation of populism over the years and who, by action, seemed forever apprehensive about how future historians would accommodate him, how ironic that Mimiko will have to spend his remaining days in office agonizing more on how to balance the naira and kobo in the financial book, let alone bother about what fate awaits the sundry cenotaphs carved in his image across the state.

But let no one shed tears for this prodigal son. Alas, the Iroko of perfidy is irreverently toppled by the whirlwind of Karma. Only poor students of history would not have foreseen this calamitous end for Mimiko.

In hindsight, it is obvious that the deep fissures in PDP at the national level contributed to Jegede’s defeat. But even as the chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Mimiko acted up his billing as a political sailor without moral compass. All along, he continued to flirt with both the Makarfi camp and the Sheriff faction, perhaps shamelessly hoping to bed one after the other. Until Jimoh Ibrahim locked the room and took away the key.

To be fair, overall, no one can deny the fallen Iroko credits for modest achievements in the area of improved healthcare (especially maternal welfare) and empowerment of market women through the provision of stalls and soft loans.

But with the hostile take-over of last weekend, Iroko has lost the opportunity to have a say in how his story in the last eight years will be officially documented. And the stories of his little miracle here and there will likely be completely obliterated when the “enemies” commence a re-write after his exit.

Essentially, Mimiko’s tragic flaw stems from the carnal assumption that political success is to be measured only by material acquisitions without subscribing to any enduring moral value. To believe in nothing and stand for nothing is the worst cardinal sin. Even common harlots are governed by some ethics – an obligation to keep clients’ confidentiality, for instance.

Now, Iroko’s loneliness should be framed in the proper context. In his hey-day, he conveniently chose to believe that politics and politicking could exist in a moral vacuum. A psychotic affliction which led my brother and colleague, Sam Omatseye, to memorably characterize him as “whitlow of the South-west”.

In his delusion, the medical-doctor-turned-politician forgot that politics is defined by an avowal of a set of values. Without that, the player is perhaps no better than a motor-park tout, scavenging for his next meal ticket.

To the scion of the otherwise illustrious Mimiko family of Ondo town, politics is all about self and the preservation of narrow interests. That explains why his political odyssey in the last seventeen years would now look more like an adventure in treacheries and infamy.

As an appointee of Governor Ade Adefarati of Alliance for Democracy (AD) between 1999 and 2002, he was recruited by PDP to undermine his benefactor.

When Olusegun Agagu became governor in 2003 through PDP’s now infamous “operation totality” in the South-west, he was compensated with the plum office Secretary to the State Government.

Barely two years later, he was “promoted” to Abuja as minister. But he wanted something bigger – Agagu’s job! That set him at odds with Obasanjo and Agagu and would ignite a chain of events culminating in his migration to the Labour Party in 2006.

His scant regard for loyalty explains why he later felt no scruples in trading the otherwise much cherished Labour badge away for a rickety accommodation in PDP two years ago, thus casually abandoning mid-stream the teeming community of workers across the country who had basked in the illusion of a toe-hold, if not foothold, in political power in Nigeria through Ondo.

Yet, when it mattered most, when the PDP hyenas callously left him defenestrated in 2006, it was the same Labour that graciously offered him shelter and platform for rehabilitation. Having used the vehicle to gain second term in 2012, he opted to trade with PDP. Without conscience, he owed workers whopping six months salaries, but had money to finance his surrogate’s election bid. Without shame, he again attempted to deceive the same labour unions weeks ago by urging them to vote Jegede with a laughable promise to pay after the elections.

The same lack of sense of loyalty also explains why Mimiko hardly batted an eyelid three years ago before clamping down heavily on the popular Adaba FM in Akure. For airing news items he did not find flattering, he showed naked power by doing the unthinkable – dug a deep valley in the only access road to the station! That punitive action rendered it inaccessible to workers and clients.

Yet, when PDP “stole” his mandate in 2007 and he was left alone in the wilderness, the same Adaba FM provided him a platform to speak directly to the Ondo public, at no cost.

At personal level, the ordeals of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim are now public knowledge. For all Tinubu’s moral and financial support during the protracted legal battle to reclaim his stolen mandate, Mimiko, emboldened by his new PDP friends in Abuja, would turn round to publicly call his old benefactor unprintable names during his re-election bid in 2012.

If Jimoh Ibrahim chose to go dirty and personal against Mimiko and his surrogate, it is probably the only way the maverick businessman imagined he could avenge what he considers a great betrayal. The story is told of how the Igbotako-born publisher of Mirror Newspaper had extended huge financial support as well as legal guidance and counseling to Mimiko while fighting Agagu between 2007 and 2008 even though the latter was supposed to be his kinsman.

But once Mimiko entered office, as the story goes, one of the early actions he took was to move against Ibrahim’s interest in Ondo’s hospitality sector.

In 2010 came a big drama at the Akure airport. On landing from Abuja in a chartered propeller aircraft, Mimiko decided to walk over and say “hello” to Ibrahim nestling in his new Challenger jet. But no sooner had the governor stepped onto the aisle than Ibrahim reportedly barked at him, wondering what strange coffee he drank: “Who invited you to my plane?! Get out of my plane!!”

With his security details left in a quandary as Ibrahim raised hell, Mimiko quietly left the scene.

The paths of the two old-buddies-turned-adversaries would again cross in 2011 when Ibrahim first sought to contest the governorship on the platform of PDP, the sponsorship of which he had since taken over. As the story goes, then President Goodluck Jonathan counseled him to wait till 2016 as “Mimiko is working for me even though he’s in Labour Party.”

Though disappointed at the turn of events, Ibrahim obeyed Jonathan. Thus, “federal might” was put behind Mimiko to overrun APC’s Rotimi Akeredolu in 2012, rendering PDP’s own Olusola Oke a political orphan in the polls. But no sooner had Mimiko been sworn in for second term in 2013 than he, characteristically, decided to officially move over to PDP, thus displacing Ibrahim’s as the party leader in Ondo.

Extravagantly hoping Jonathan would deliver himself in 2015, Iroko began to see himself as PDP’s clearing-house in South-west and, ipso facto, the new Yoruba leader.

Today, the lightning has struck and Ibrahim is obviously having the last laugh.

Another Look at Jimoh Ibrahim’s Tax Proposal, By Simbo Olorunfemi

The philosophical premise upon which his proposal rests – that you cannot tax your way out of recession – is not one, I think, that should be arbitrarily dismissed. I do think there is a need for relief and rebate at the bottom rather than thinking up draconian measures… One gets this feeling that we are more obsessed with saving Nigeria than Nigerians.

Jimoh Ibrahim must be in high spirits at the moment. After all, he is the ‘Araba’ who sneaked in as an axe, into the Ondo forest of twists and turns to take down the ‘Iroko’, with the backing of the Sheriff. His tweets are like those of an ‘Afobaje’ who, with the aid of what might be seen as twisted interlocutory ejaculations, was able to arrest the divination process to ensure that the anointed Prince does not emerge as King. Shortly before the election, Ibrahim said that the tussle was not necessarily about who emerged as candidate but who achieved his aim. The man might have been bruised in that comical roll-in-the-mud tweet-slam between himself and Femi Fani-Kayode, but he seems to be having the last laugh now over his Comrade and Iroko, for whom the election was a referendum on his legacy. For Ibrahim, it is simply mission accomplished.

But this is not even about the complicated politics of Ondo State, the ‘roforofo’ battle of egos between Iroko and Araba or how a man appropriated the title of ‘Afobaje’ and threw a spanner in the wheel of the campaign of an unassuming man on the ballot. Rather, it is about the proposal put forward by Jimoh Ibrahim as a participant in the Governorship Elections Debate to scrap the payment of Personal Income Tax in Ondo State. Indeed, many were quick to jump on this and promptly dismissed the Ibrahim proposal as a joke, a debate gimmick deployed without much thought, which was thrown out to curry support of the gullible, ostensibly for an ulterior political motive.

Social media commentators quickly jumped at it and roundly pilloried the man and his idea. They accused him of exhibiting ignorance in not recognising that the payment of Personal Income Tax is a statutory requirement backed by law, one which falls on the exclusive list which makes it a matter within the exclusive purview of the Federal Government and not one that a State governor can arbitrarily do away with.

Jimoh Ibrahim might have been in a rambunctious mood on the night of the debate, obviously enjoying what he was able to pull off, but I didn’t think he did not know or understand, to a reasonable extent, what he was talking about. He might be another politician, naturally given to their ways, but he is a lawyer who not only should know the law but he has the advantage of study and practice in the area of taxation. I felt his proposal ought not to be one to be dismissed with a wave of hand by those who know and many who might not know but ought to be given some thought and consideration. That an idea is coming from a politician should not be sufficient ground to dismiss it without some interrogation. After all, as Yorubas would say, ‘inu ikoko dudu l’eko funfun ti njade’. There is no writing off the possibility of beauty rising on the wings of ashes.

So, Ibrahim proposed to do away with the payment of personal income tax in Ondo state, if elected governor. For those who raised a query about the legality of that, I do not see what the issue is. State Governments have the legal mandate to collect personal income tax and it is for their use. What will be illegal in a State electing not to utilise its right of collection? In the first place, the rates are not uniform across board. So, if State A chooses to reduce its rate for the benefit of her citizens or in order to attract investment to her domain, what can possibly be wrong with that? What law will a State be in breach of in electing against collection of Personal Income Tax?

Important as it might be to grow the government revenue base, especially in a time of recession, the Philistinic philosophy that seems to suggest that as the only way to turn the economy around is bewildering. What is the fixation with growing beer-bellies for governments at all levels when we struggle to see the good use that has been put to…

In this age, with competition rife among states to be investors’ preferred destinations, it cannot be out of place for smart states to consider the feasibility of the idea of lowering/scrapping taxes, including personal income tax for prospective employees, among other ideas to attract investors. Did Ireland not operate from a similar playbook, under the ‘Double Irish arrangement’ that many multinationals, especially technology companies such as Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft took advantage of? The point is that a creative interpretation of tax laws and use of rebates are tools commonly used to attract investments in an increasingly competitive market. A state, by encouraging companies to locate to its territory on the basis of a relaxation of enforcement of personal income tax law, not only stands to make gains from other form of taxes such that whatever is lost in terms of PIT is recouped through other sources, and in so doing, there are numerous social and economic benefits that come with indirectly creating jobs for its citizens.

In the specific instance of Ondo State which Jimoh Ibrahim spoke of, one does not have the details of what he has in mind but an interrogation of the revenue profile of the state is telling. In 2015, Ondo State’s internally generated revenue stood at about N10.1 billion. Between 2011 and 2015, this ranged between N8 billion and N11.7 billion. So, on the average, the state generates N10 billion ‘internally’. States generate the bulk of their revenue from ‘Pay as You Earn’ (PAYE), Direct Assessment, and Road Taxes, among other sources. Even though we do not have the breakdown for Ondo State, but from the data on other states in Ondo’s category, about 60 percent of the internally generated revenue is from PAYE, which means that for the State, whose mainstay is the Civil Service, about N6 billion of what it purports to earn is actually a mere deduction in the form of taxes from the salaries paid to government workers, which is put at about N25 billion on an annual basis. So, from a monthly wage bill of N2 billion, there is a N500 million tax deduction as PAYE.

How is Ondo really doing? The state has an average monthly revenue of N6 billion. For September, 2016, she received N4.18 billion as allocation from the Federation account, all sources including VAT Allocation inclusive, while Edo received N2.54 billion. Though both states average almost the same in other sources, however Ondo earns higher than Edo from the 13 percent derivation kitty. In terms of recurrent expenditure, Ondo is slightly more exposed than Edo, but while Ondo’s total debt stock is N30 billion, Edo’s is N65 billion. It must then mean that Edo is spending some reasonable amount servicing her debt. So, how is it that the state is able to pay her workers regularly while Ondo is in arrears for several months? How is it that Ondo with an average monthly revenue of N6 billion is unable to meet a monthly wage bill of slightly over N2 billion?

I will argue that on the face of it, Ondo State is not unable, should it elect not to collect personal income tax from its workers, to let go of N500 million monthly. There is nothing out of the world in that idea. I dare say. I do not see anything wrong with a tax rebate, to start with, for lower grade officials and others at the bottom of the pyramid. Of course, many will query the wisdom in increasing the public expenditure profile at a time that government is finding it difficult to meet its obligation, but do we understand why that is the case in Ondo, in the first place? It is always when a bit of relief is proposed for those under that category that the argument about cutting cost is heard.

As I keep arguing, what can be wrong with putting some money in the hands of the people at the bottom to enhance their purchasing power and drive production at that level? What is wrong with empowering small businesses through a tax rebate system that rewards innovation and entrepreneurship at the base?

Some will argue that in the face of massive tax evasion beyond the formal sector, why take off-net the cash cow? It is a valid argument, but I believe that the problem with tax administration in Nigeria is less about tax evasion at the bottom but a poorly structured system that fails to address the challenges of the weakest link in the society with no plan or accommodation for those within the informal sector, especially small businesses. Rather, it is all about the squeeze through a regime of spurious indirect taxes that keep them grounded at the bottom in a society with no form of safety net.

Important as it might be to grow the government revenue base, especially in a time of recession, the Philistinic philosophy that seems to suggest that as the only way to turn the economy around is bewildering. What is the fixation with growing beer-bellies for governments at all levels when we struggle to see the good use that has been put to, except for fattening already fattened cows and the anachronistic purpose of showing off to the world that all is well when the reverse is the case? As I keep arguing, what can be wrong with putting some money in the hands of the people at the bottom to enhance their purchasing power and drive production at that level? What is wrong with empowering small businesses through a tax rebate system that rewards innovation and entrepreneurship at the base?

In South Africa, I learnt that you do not have to register a business until it hits one million rands in value. You do not pay tax on an income less than 5000 rands. There is a National Small Business Act and a Minister for Small business Development. We must think it is all about touting GDP figures that claims this as the largest economy in Africa. Here, we go hunting what to tax the poor and creative small business owners for. Data, Telephony, Stamp duty, all sorts. We tax the poor for trade permit, lock shop permit, radio and TV licence, even when they do not have one, and outdoor advertising permit for first party signs in remote parts of the land. What is wrong with us? What is wrong with putting money in the hands of the people, so they can spend and drive the economy from the bottom?

It is the broader point of Jimoh Ibrahim’s proposal that I speak to. The philosophical premise upon which his proposal rests – that you cannot tax your way out of recession – is not one, I think, that should be arbitrarily dismissed. I do think there is a need for relief and rebate at the bottom rather than thinking up draconian measures such as the non-issuance of international passports, as has been allegedly proposed. One gets this feeling that we are more obsessed with saving Nigeria than Nigerians. There is a difference. May God help us to be able to tell the difference.

We will NEVER forget Jimoh Ibrahim’s ignoble role in Ondo election – PDP

The Senator Ahmed Makarfi faction of the Peoples Democratic Party has said it would not forget the role Jimoh Ibrahim played in frustrating its campaign in Ondo State and warned Senator Modu Sheriff against posing as the party chairman.

The faction stated this in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Dayo Adeyeye, on Tuesday.

“We wish to state categorically that in consonance with Judgment of various Courts, which Ali Modu-Sheriff and his team of confused travelers have not bothered to appeal, the former Borno State Governor is not the Chairman of our Party, the PDP,” the statement said.

“His consistent claim to the Office is a continuation of their plans to sustain mayhem in our Party, but nature and fair justice have taken care of his desperation.”

Based on the judgments, the statement warned that Sheriff and his supporters risked jail terms if he continues to present himself as the leader of the party.

It said, “The Courts have spoken, and their pronouncements are binding. However, those who wish to spend the rest of their lives behind prison bars may continue to utter heresy against the Court.

“We hope their children would be proud to bear the family names of convicts.”

While speaking on Jimoh Ibrahim’s role in the election, the Makarfi faction of the PDP said, “We won’t also forget in a hurry the ignoble role Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim played in scuttling our campaign for the Ondo Election.

“We also know those who pushed him forward for the hatchet job.

“We are amused that the agents of darkness used by the All Progressives Congress to cause confusion and frustrate our campaign for the Ondo Election, can accuse the National Caretaker Committee of impunity.

“However, we simply want them to define what impunity is, using their acts of betrayal as a case study. What they are doing is the worst form of impunity, lawlessness, greed and avarice.”

Why PDP lost Edo, Ondo and may lose future elections – Ali Sheriff faction

The Ali Sheriff faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said it has identified impunity and lack of respect for the party’s constitution and the rule of law as the major problems that led to the its failure in the Edo and Ondo governorship elections.

Many have expressed the belief that the decision of Mr. Sheriff and his supporters to factionalise the PDP led to its failure in the elections.

The faction, at a media briefing on Monday in Abuja, however said the blame for the losses falls on three governors elected under the platform of the party.

Cairo Ojougboh Factional Deputy National Chairman
Cairo OjougbohFactional Deputy National Chairman

Although the faction did not mention the names of the three governors, it has been engaged in running battles with governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State and Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State.

Monday’s press briefing, addressed by the Deputy National Chairman of the faction, Cairo Ojougbo, said ” in all these difficult times only three governors have been the architects of the destruction of the party”.

Mr. Ojougbo said only the governors of “Taraba, Gombe, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers and a few others have been very cooperative and are willing to let the party grow. They have shown maturity, understanding and sagacity in the affairs of the PDP.”


The Sheriff faction recalled that the impact of impunity in the PDP manifested itself for the first time in the 2011 general elections when the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, defeated the PDP in Nasarawa State.

“We had a sitting governor then who could not deliver. This was the first warning against impunity. It was ignored.

Ayodele Fayose, Ekiti State Governor Photo:Pulse.ng
Ayodele Fayose, Ekiti State Governor

“Then in 2015 we had governors in Benue, Kogi, Niger, Jigawa, Plateau, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Bauchi and Adamawa. We lost in all these states for a common reason, the governors were not unpopular but they imposed their surrogates and the people voted them out. We paid for impunity,” Mr. Ojougbo said.

The faction argued that an analysis of the 2015 general election showed that all the ten states the party lost were in the northern part of the country, adding that even south-south states would not have survived if former President Goodluck Jonathan did not hail from the region. It said the figures that emanated from the south-east were also “abysmal”.

Mr. Ojougbo said the outcome of the 2015 election proved that although governors are very important in winning elections for a party, they do not necessarily determine the outcome.

“The running of the party should therefore not be left entirely to their whims and caprices. The party must have a say because party is supreme. In the case of Mimiko’s Ondo, the party was denied the valuable say,” he said.

The party leader also said that the faction had cried to all concerned ahead of the Edo election that the party hierarchy in the state was defective and that the Leadership needed to be changed “to allow the 60 stalwarts of the PDP who defected to APC return to the fold.”

Olusegun Mimiko
Olusegun Mimiko

“Of course the governors refused. There was no surprise to the result.

“In Ondo State, the script was written in 2013 when Governor Mimiko returned to PDP. All members he met on the ground left the party for him and he took over the PDP. The structure was handed over to the Labour Party.

“If Oke had not gone to AD and Mimiko managed leadership sportsmanly, PDP would have won the election convincingly.

“In the election, APC scored 244,842 votes while PDP scored 150,380 and AD scored 126,889 votes. It is a fact that the AD votes belong to PDP and the simple arithmetic shows why PDP lost; our votes went to Oke and AD,” he said.

He also said that when Mr. Mimiko returned to the PDP, his fellow governors appealed to him to allow for harmonization but he refused.

He said all the PDP members led by Olusola Oke therefore left the party.

Mr. Ojougbo said in choosing a candidate to succeed him, Mr. Mimiko did not allow original members of the PDP to buy forms.

“He mainly anointed Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) who was returned unopposed.

“Party members cried to the high heavens that Jegede is from the central zone where Mimiko hails from. Their cries fell on deaf ears,” he said.

He also said the primary election organised by the Sheriff faction had six participants which returned Jimoh Ibrahim as the candidate.

dickson-jegede-and-mimiko-620x330“Jimoh hails from the South. He campaigned vigorously and convinced the people to vote for him. But alas Mimiko will not allow him carry the party flag.

“Mimiko used the instrumentality of state government to overwhelm Jimoh but could not overwhelm the masses and voters. Of course the result is out there for all to see,” he said.

Sheriff independent of Buhari, APC

Mr. Ojougbo also said the accusation that Mr. Sheriff was doing the bidding of Nigeria’s ruling APC is not tenable.

He said it was PDP governors who invited Mr. Sheriff to be the chairman of the party. He also said when he (Sheriff) assumed office, he put in place a committee to conduct a National Convention to “elect people of good character to run the affairs of the party”.

He added that Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State was appointed the chairman of the zoning committee.

“The Governors met and decided that Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff should continue in office. The question is ‘was it Mr. President, General Buhari or the APC who sourced Senator Sheriff for the PDP’?

“Was it the APC who chaired the zoning committee that zoned chairmanship to Sheriff? The answer is No.

Ali Modu Sheriff
Ali Modu Sheriff

“We therefore call on all Nigerians to discountenance the idea that Sheriff is working for the APC. Sheriff was offered the senatorial ticket in the last general election after he left the APC. Senator Ali Modu Sheriff is a complete PDP faithful whose desire it is to reposition the party.

“Truth be told, Sheriff is insisting that power be returned to the people,” he said.

Mr. Ojougbo also spoke about the belief that Mr. Sheriff was a sponsor of the terrorist group, Boko Haram,

He said it is on record that when Mr. Sheriff was governor of Borno State, he suppressed and completely routed the Boko Haram.

“Boko Haram Killed 5 members of his family in the process of his fight against them.

“But when the current Governor of Borno State, Shettima, took over office, Boko Haram became emboldened, virulent and malignant.

“Note also that Shettima became governor because Boko Haram killed the man who was to be governor. His death paved way for the emergence of Shettima who willingly and deliberately encouraged Boko Haram.

“Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff has taken to court the Attorney General of Borno State who claimed that Sheriff is Boko Haram in Suit No. FCT/HC/CU/2494/2016 between Senator Dr. Ali Modu Sheriff vs. Barrister Kaka Shehu Lawan and 3 others which is currently ongoing,” he said.

Mr. Ojougbo said although the faction does not comment on individuals, but “for the sake of the survival of the party we take exceptions to the utterances of Prince Adeyeye”.

He said Mr. Adeyeye, spokesperson of the Ahmed Makarfi PDP faction, is attacking Mr. Sheriff’s faction believing that he will be awarded the governorship ticket of Ekiti State.

The sheriff faction, however, warned that if the PDP is not restructured, even if he ( Adeyeye) is awarded the ticket “which we know Fayose will not do, it will be an exercise in futility and a waste of time like Eyitayo Jegede’s”.

Mr. Ojougbo said Mr. Sheriff is the agent of change for the PDP and multiparty democracy in Nigeria.

“Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff remains the only and authentic National Chairman of the PDP and the NWC remains the only administrative body authorized by law to run the party.”

He concluded the briefing by calling on all party members to unite or the PDP will be dead forever.

Jimoh Ibrahim Congratulates Akeredolu, Mocks Mimiko.

The ousted Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Ondo State, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, has congratulated the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), who was declared the winner of the Ondo State governorship election on Sunday.


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) confirmed on Sunday that Mr. Akeredolu won the race with 244,842 votes over PDP candidate Eyitayo Jegede’s 150,380 votes.


Mr. Ibrahim congratulated Mr. Akeredolu before he was officially declared governor-elect.


He said, “My dear egbon. Congratulations. I have computed the results sent to me from 2907 wards by my party agents across Ondo State. It shows you are leading with unrecoverable margin. I congratulate you as governor-elect of our lovely state. I will advise you quickly maintain distance from Mimiko if you want to succeed.


“I have no doubt that you will urgently create hope for our people; kindly do whatever you can to assist your lovely civil servants. I saw poverty in those villages I visited during campaign. Please kindly assist traditional rulers as much as you can.”

BREAKING: Jimoh Ibrahim loses in Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court has struck out all the interlocutory appeals filed by the Ali Sheriff faction of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.


Mr. Sheriff insists he is the authentic chairman of the PDP. However, a Court of Appeal in Abuja on Wednesday declared Ahmed Makarfi the authentic PDP leader.


A PDP aspirant in Ondo, Jimoh Ibrahim, had hoped that the Supreme Court would grant the appeals which would have returned him as the candidate of the party for Saturday’s governorship election.


Mr. Ibrahim was chosen as PDP candidate by the Ali Sheriff faction.


Eyitayo Jegede of the Ahmed Makarfi faction was declared authentic PDP candidate by the Appeal Court on Wednesday.


Details later…

Sack Justice Abang, Fayose tells NJC

The Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has called on the National Judicial Council to “save the judiciary by sacking Justice Okon Abang.”


Fayose, in his reaction to the Appeal Court judgment, which nullified Abang’s ruling of the October 14, 2016 and declared it as a fraud, said, “it is obvious that Justice Abang is representing the interests of some cabals.”


In a statement issued on Wednesday and signed by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, the governor said, “In the face of these indictments by the appellate court, the NJC must wade in and save the judiciary from Abang.”


Fayose added, “…Today again, three justices of the appeal court descended on Justice Abang, describing his judgments imposing Jimoh Ibrahim as the Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate in Ondo State and the one affirming Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the PDP National Chairman as fraudulent.


“It should be recalled that in June, a five-member panel of the court of appeal led by Justice Morenike Ogunwumiju said Abang ‘raped democracy’ when he annulled the election of Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, and ordered INEC to issue a certificate of return to Mr. Uche Ogah without evidence of forgery against Dr. Ikpeazu. The court went on to say that Abang embarked on a wild goose chase and that he spoke from both sides of his mouth.


“These are clear indictments on Justice Abang and in a civilised society, he ought to have resigned without the prompting of anyone. Or how can a judge that has been adjudged severally as giving fraudulent judgments and acting like Father Christmas still sit in judgment over cases involving Nigerians?


“The NJC must do the needful by sacking him forthwith so that the bench can have a new lease of life.”


Fayose commended the Appeal Court for declaring Eyitayo Jegede as the candidate of the PDP for the Ondo governorship poll.


He, however, said it was late for the party to make a meaningful impact in the election.


In another interview, Fayose, who backed the call for the Independent National Electoral Commission to postpone the Ondo election, said that was the best thing to do in the circumstance.


Fayose said, “The judgement shouldn’t have been otherwise, because you can’t cover the truth. I have said it ab initio that charlatans in the PDP are colluding with INEC and the APC to undermine our party.”

Jimoh Ibrahim says ‘nothing to lose’ in Appeal Court ruling on Ondo.

The candidate of the Ali Modu Sheriff faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, Jimoh Ibrahim, has reacted to Wednesday’s Appeal Court ruling sacking him as the party’s candidate in Saturday’s Ondo governorship election.

The Court of Appeal replaced Mr. Ibrahim with Eyitayo Jegede, candidate of the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the party.

But Mr. Ibrahim said he was certain of getting justice at the Supreme Court.

Mr. Ibrahim accused the incumbent governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, of paying for the judgment with the state treasury.

“I have read the decision of the Court of Appeal delivered today.

“We have nothing to lose as the Supreme Court sits on the same case tomorrow.

“We shall get justice at the Supreme Court and if PDP wins Saturday election we shall have our four years mandate to rule Ondo State,’’ Mr. Ibrahim said.

Meanwhile, the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction has commended the Court of Appeal for its judgment.

Dayo Adeyeye, the National Publicity Secretary of the faction, said the judgment was proof that what transpired at the lower court was miscarriage of justice.

Mr. Adeyeye made the remark in a statement on Tuesday.

The Court of Appeal panel led by Justice Ibrahim Salauwa on Tuesday set aside the ruling of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court recognising Jimoh Ibrahim as PDP candidate in the Ondo state guber poll.

The Appeal Court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to replace Mr. Ibrahim’s name with Eyitayo Jegede.

Mr. Adeyeye said the party appreciated the Nigerian judiciary for “standing behind truth as it affects the attempt by enemies within working in consonance with some jittery and desperate opposition members.’’

He said the aim of the enemies of the party was to thwart PDP’s participation in the Ondo State governorship election.

Mr. Adeyeye said the judgments delivered by the Supreme Court and that of the Court of Appeal had rekindled the hope of the common man in the judiciary.

He said: “This shows that justice might be delayed, but will surely come provided the oppressed refuse to give up on his rights.

“The judgment delivered by the Justice Salauwa-led Appeal Court Panel which returned the validly elected candidate of our party, to his rightful place was expected.

“It was expected because we were sure that the travesty of justice carried out at the lower court will in any sane society, not stand the test of time.’’

Mr. Adeyeye added that it was gratifying to note that all the seven issues before the Appeal panel as relates to the illegal substitution of the factions’ candidate, were decided in favour of Mr. Jegede.

“This goes to prove that what transpired at the lower court was a miscarriage of justice.”

Mr. Adeyeye expressed hope that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would toe the line of the Court of Appeal by postponing the Saturday election by a minimum of two weeks.

He said the postponement would allow the faction’s candidate to inform the people of the state his programmes for them through campaigns.

I Remain PDP’s Candidate- Jimoh Ibrahim

Former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Jimoh Ibrahim yesterday faulted the Court of Appeal verdict which nullified his candidacy as not having a ‘consequential order.”

Ibrahim described the Appeal Court judgment as “one day ruling”, adding that the Supreme Court would sit on the case today (Thursday)

“I have read the decision of the Court of Appeal delivered today (yesterday) without a consequential order. The ruling failed to specifically say that my name should be substituted by INEC.

“Since there is no consequential order directing INEC to do so, the judgement is therefore not binding on me and INEC cannot remove my name and as such I remain PDP candidate for Saturday’s election.

“But we are optimistic that we have nothing to lose as the Supreme Court sits on same case tomorrow. We shall get justice at the Supreme Court and if PDP wins Saturday’s election, we shall have our four-year mandate to rule Ondo State

“Let me advise the good people of Ondo State and my supporters nationwide not to abuse anyone or fight over this one day ruling …

“Mimiko will not succeed himself with Jegede. This is too sure as we continue with our work and remain in our great part, PDP. I love the great people of Ondo State and I thank you all for continuous support.”


Ibrahim: I remain PDP candidate

Ondo guber: I will be PDP candidate on Saturday – Jimoh Ibrahim

Embattled candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Jimoh Ibrahim, has expressed confidence that his name will remain on the ballot as the candidate of the party in Saturday’s governorship election.

He said this on Tuesday against the backdrop of the Supreme Court decision, dismissing his suit seeking to restrain the Appeal Court from sitting on a matter to decide who the authentic candidate of the party is.

Mr. Ibrahim, who spoke to journalists in Akure while reacting to the Supreme Court decision, said the decision was a good development.

He said the decision had not affected his candidature, assuring that he would win the coming election.

“Has the court changed my name?” he asked when told to react to the development. “If you bring a matter before the Supreme Court and the court says you should go back to the appeal court to hear the case how does that affect me?”

He said the decision was a good development and that it had achieved what it was meant to achieve.

Asked what it was meant to achieve, he replied: “you think about it,” and burst into laughter.

He said he was confident that his name would remain on the ballot until Saturday and after the election.

He also said he would win the election under the banner of the PDP.

“It is not possible for my name to be removed for this election, it is not possible,” he said.

“Nobody can remove it, it is there and it will be there until Saturday.”

Asked how he intends to win the election in the face of other formidable candidates, he said, “We are going to win. There is no grammar about that.

“Is anybody saying no? The PDP has been here for 14 years and how can somebody come here yesterday and come and overtake us.”

The Ahmed Makarfi faction of the party in the state is, however, hopeful that the Appeal Court will sit on Wednesday and deliver its judgment on the matter before it.

The Director of Publicity, Ayodele Fadaka, expressed the assurances that the judgment would be delivered on Wednesday in their favour which would see Eyitayo Jegede return as the authentic candidate of the party.

The Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, on Tuesday in Akure said that the commission would abide by any judgment of the Appeal Court on the matter.

He said INEC was bound by law to obey the decisions of the court regarding the matter.

Ondo: Appeal Court Delivers Judgment On Jegede Today.

The Court of Appeal Special Panel on the Ondo State governorship poll has fixed 12noon on Wednesday (today) to deliver ruling on the tussle over who the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the election will be The Eagle Online has reported.


The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave the Court of Appeal the go ahead to deliver the ruling.


The tussle is between Jimoh Ibrahim and Eyitayo Jegede.


The Independent National Electoral Commission had recognised Ibrahim as the candidate based on the ruling of the Federal High Court, Abuja.


The ruling was delivered by Justice Okon Abang.

Ondo PDP Crisis : Appeal Court may decide Jimoh Ibrahim, Jegede’s fate today

The Court of Appeal will on Tuesday afternoon continue hearing in a case that will determine who the candidate of the PDP in Saturday’s governorship election will be.

Jimoh Ibrahim and Eyitayo Jegede, chosen by two different factions of the party, seek to be the candidate with Mr. Ibrahim currently recognised by INEC.

The Court may also decide who the rightful candidate is after hearing arguments from all parties.

Tuesday’s decision by the Appeal Court follows a Supreme Court ruling earlier in the day ordering the lower court to continue hearing the matter.

The Supreme Court dismissed an application filed by a factional leader of the PDP in Ondo State, Biyi Poroye, who is of Mr. Ibrahim’s faction.

Mr. Poroye, a factional chairman of the PDP asked the court to determine the jurisdiction of a panel set up by the Appeal Court President, Zainab Bulkachuwa.

The panel was created after a petition filed by Mr. Poroye’s counsel, Beluolisah Nwofor, accused the former panel led by Jummai Sankey of fraud.

Following that petition, the first panel under Ms. Sankey’s leadership withdrew their participation in the matter on November 1.

Days later, Ms. Bulkachuwa instituted the new panel, led by Ibrahim Salauwa.

But dissatisfied with the decision, Mr. Poroye, through his counsel, made another request demanding the dissolution of the new panel.

When that application was refused by the appellate court, he (Mr. Poroye) approached the Supreme Court to challenge the decision of the Appeal Court. He also prayed the highest court to compel the lower court to suspend sitting.

On October 18, the Appeal Court suspended its sitting till further directive was received from the highest court of law.

On Tuesday a five-member panel of the Supreme Court, led by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, dismissed the application for lacking in merit.

The court also asked Mr. Nwofor to pay over N5 million as damages for abusing the panel at the appellate court.

BREAKING: Supreme Court orders continuation of Appeal Court hearing on Ondo election

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the Abuja Division of the Appeal Court to continue its hearing in the ongoing legal battle for the Ondo State’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship ticket.


The Appeal Court had on October 18 suspended hearings into the various applications pending the decision of the highest court.


The applications were brought to the Appeal Court by a factional candidate of the party, Eyitayo Jegede, who challenged the decision of the Federal High Court in Abuja to replace him with another contender for the ticket, Jimoh Ibrahim.


While both candidates belong to the PDP, Mr. Jegede was picked by the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the party, and Mr. Ibrahim represents the camp of former Borno governor, Ali Sheriff.


A three-member panel of the appeal court led by Ibrahim Salauwa set aside the matter to await the decision of the Apex Court.


Applications regarding the forthcoming elections were taken to the Supreme Court by a factional leader of the party in Ondo state, Biyi Poroye, who represents Mr. Sheriff’s faction.


On Tuesday, a five-man panel of justices led by the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, ordered the Appeal Court to proceed with the matter.

Jimoh Ibrahim is a product of ‘black market’ judgement – Hon. Omogbehin

Member representing Okitipupa/Irele federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Mike Omogbehin has said that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has developed a strategy to humiliate the ruling All ProgressivesCongress (APC) in Ondo gubernatorial election slated for Saturday.


In an exclusive interview with DAILY POST in Abuja, the lawmaker noted that the APC at a point saw defeat staring at them decided to use those he described as ‘disgruntled elements’ within PDP to hijack the resolution of Ondo electorates in the elections.


“There is no doubt that our strategy to win Ondo electionhas been impeded. There is no doubt that our time and strategy has been wasted by some disgruntled elements in PDP who have been supplanted by the APC”, Omogbehin stated.


He was optimistic that the appeal court would restore the name of Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, emphasizing that at any given time, PDP will win the election.


The lawmaker pointed that Mr Jegede passed through a process that legitimised him as the flag bearer of the party primary, while describing Jimoh Ibrahim as a product of black market judgement.


“What is required of INEC is to restore the name of Eyitayo Jegede as the true candidate of PDP in Ondo election, because he was the one whose primary was monitored by INEC, before Jimoh Ibrahim made Justice Abang to give a black market judgement rejecting our candidate”, he said.


He added that those extraneous forces creating confusion in Ondo gubernatorial election, have serious internal rancour that would disintegrate them moments from now.

Court Of Appeal To Rule for Eyitayo Jegede As Jimoh Ibrahim’s Team Alleges Gov. Mimiko Bribed Judges

A panel of the Court of Appeal in Abuja is today set to deliver a ruling in a rushed court proceeding aimed at restoring Eyitayo Jegede of the Makarfi-led faction of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as the party’s authentic candidate in next weekend’s governorship election in the state.

SaharaReporters learned that the appellate court panel would at noon today deliver a judgment that suits Governor Segun Mimiko. A legal source close to controversial businessman, Jimoh Ibrahim, told SaharaReporters that the governor had bribed judges through his lawyers. A Federal High Court judge, Justice Okon Abang, had earlier ruled that Mr. Ibrahim, who was chosen by the Modu Sheriff-led faction of the PDP as the PDP’s legitimate governorship candidate.

Mr. Mimiko and his favored candidate, Mr. Jegede, appealed Justice Abang’s ruling at the Court of Appeal. The case was mired in controversy as an earlier panel of the Court of Appeal set up to review Justice Abang’s ruling was inexplicably dissolved.

One lawyer involved in the case said Governor Mimiko “has been running from pillar to pole seeking ways to bribe judges at the Court of Appeal in Abuja to reverse the order of the lower court.”

Several sources in Ondo State told SaharaReporters that Mr. Mimiko temporarily relocated to Abuja to press all the political and legal buttons to ensure that Mr. Jegede was declared the authentic governorship candidate. One source claimed the governor had openly bragged to his supporters in Akure, the state capital, that he would get his wish.

Mr. Mimiko is a veteran of legal battles over political issues. After losing a controversial governorship election to the late Olusegun Agagu of the PDP in 2007, Mr. Mimiko, who ran on the ticket of Labor Party, had mobilized lawyers to contest his loss. Through the financial backing of Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the current national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Mimiko prevailed in court. An appellate court panel ruled in his favor, and he was installed as governor on February 23, 2009.

A political source in Ondo State claimed that, once Mr. Mimiko receives his desired ruling from the Court of Appeal today, the governor would instigate acts of violence throughout the state to ensure the postponement of the election that is already billed for next Saturday. The source said the governor and Mr. Jegede want extra time to mobilize for the campaigns, adding that the feud between the two factions of the PDP had weakened the party.


Ondo guber: Jimoh Ibrahim’s rally, a sham – PDP

The Ahmed Makarfi led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State, has described the rally held on Monday by Sheriff led faction of the party ahead of November 26, governorship election in the state, as a sham.


The party, through its State Publicity Secretary, Hon. Banji Okunomo, said the show was “another incidence of some masquerades dancing naked in the public.”


Okunomo, in a statement issued yesterday in Akure, the state capital, noted that the sham was put up by Mr Jimoh Ibrahim and some imported participants from Ogun State.


Okunomo who posited that real members of the PDP in Ondo State did not show up at the charade knowing full well that everything about Jimoh is deceit, noted that the few persons who were at the rally wore fez caps and other items bearing ‘Omo-Ilu foundation’, an appellation for Senator Kasamu Buruji from Ogun State.

He said: “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State uses this medium to dissociate itself from a purported rally organised by Jimoh Ibrahim and his cohorts in Ore on Monday in the name of Ondo PDP.


“The rally is not only a sham but a further portrait of Jimoh Ibrahim as one who is in for a spoiler’s job in the November 26, 2016 governorship election. For those who have been keeping abreast with the activities of the PDP in Ondo State, it would be obvious to them that the purported rally falls from the normal PDP standard.


“Those who attended the rally were also alien to the PDP in Ondo State. It was gathered that many of them were imported from Ogun State.


“We should recall that the scam described as governorship primary election that produced Jimoh was held in Ibadan, kilometres away from the shores of Ondo State.’

Ibrahim begins campaign, pledges to restore electricity supply.

Factional candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Jimoh Ibrahim, has promised to restore electricity supply in the south senatorial district of the state.

Ibrahim made the promise when he started his campaign in Okitipupa Local Council area on Wednesday.The candidate said he would ensure that the areas were connected to regular electricity supply within his first three months in office.

He condemned the “I don’t care” attitude of the outgoing administration of Governor Olusegun Mimiko to the protracted outage in the area.

According to him, the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) had cut off towns like Oke-Igbo, Ore, Odigbo, Okitipupa, Irele, Ode-Aye, Ajapa, Akotogbo, Igbokoda, Igbotako from the national grid.

At the palace of the Jegun of Idepe-Okitipupa, Micheal Adetoye, he promised to reintroduce the boarding system to government-controlled secondary schools across the state.

He explained that only such a system could restore the lost glory and high educational standards enjoyed by students in the past.“The boarding system was what sharpened and built our educational and moral standards as students in those days, which had continued to be our guide and approach to life, both in business and political participation.

“The issue of electricity is very embarrassing and shameful. The last time I checked with the BEDC, the company said the senatorial district owed a backlog of unpaid bills of about N300 million, which made it to cut off its electricity supply.”

Ibrahim, who hails from Igbotako in Okitipupa Local Council area, said he deliberately started his campaign in Okitipupa to reawaken the consciousness of his people in Ikale land towards electing another of their own sons as the next governor of the state.

He assured the civil servants that the payment of salaries, allowances, pensions and gratuities would be the priority of his government.

Ibrahim was accompanied on the campaign by his running mate, Ebenezer Alabi, the party’s state chairman, Biyi Poroye and two former Senators from the area, Omololu Meroyi and Hosea Ehinlanwo, among others.

We won’t allow one zone to govern for 16 years at a go – Jimoh Ibrahim

The PDP Governorship Candidate, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, yesterday, said his mission is to take the state from “the hopeless situation it is now to a very hopeful situation.”

Addressing newsmen in Akure, for the first time after he was declared the party’s candidate, Ibrahim said: “I need to take away injustice, we cannot afford to have a senatorial district producing governors for 16 years at ago. That is complete injustice, that is hopeless and we will not allow that, and that will not happen in Ondo State.’’

On why he is not going round to campaign ahead of the election, he said: “This is not my first time of running for the governorship of the state. In 2003, I ran for the governorship of the state under ANPP. So, politics is not new and I’m not like those people who are running for the first time, only to do all the work by moving to all the nooks and crannies of Ondo state. I am not new to the people of Ondo State. I ran before and I have very impressive result at the last engagement when I ran for the governorship of this state. It’s my ambition to become the governor of this state and I’m back to realise that ambition.’’

On the ambition of Eyitayo Jegede, who is in court to retrieve the PDP ticket from him, Mr. Ibrahim said: “Jegede is brand new in the system, he’s new and let him take his time, it took me from 2008 to the present date to enjoy this political legitimacy. You cannot come just in one day and begin to think you can win election like that in Ondo State. Nobody comes and enters like that. Take your time and queue behind.’’

On his first priority, if elected, he said: “My priority is the payment of outstanding salaries of workforce because it is the workforce that can deliver the dividends of democracy or deliver efficiency and effectiveness. The public service is really my own major focus. I want them to be trained and retrained and I want them to be first among equals in public service spectrum in Nigeria.’’

He assured of a massive industrial revolution and utilization of natural resources for sea-ports adding that his government would provide conducive atmosphere through partial tax integration system to attract more investors into the state.

He said that he would establish the Ondo State Infrastructural Development Commission, which will diagnose the state of infrastructure in the state.

He continued: “Within six months in office, most of the secondary schools in the state would return to the boarding school system, which would be institutionalized through government policy. These are the things we intend to do when I become the governor of this state. We want to affect education and employment; we want to ensure efficiency, capability development and innovation in the workforce.”

He promised a “strong data bank, upgrading of Board of Internal Revenue to a full-fledged ministry adding that he would scrap the Ministry of Special Duties and rename it Ministry of Employment to tackle unemployment in the state.

“I’m not new in politics”, says Jimoh Ibrahim.

The factional governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the forthcoming election in Ondo State, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, has declared that he is not new in the politics of the state.

He said he would not embark on an aggressive campaign to win the November 26 governorship election, saying he was on a familiar terrain

He stated this on Monday in Akure, the Ondo State capital, while speaking with journalists.

Ibrahim, who was declared the candidate of the PDP by the Independent National Electoral Commission after receiving a court order, added that he would need little introduction to the electorate in the state.

He said, “This is not my first time of running for the governorship of the state. In 2003, I ran for the governorship election in the state under the All Nigeria Peoples Party. So, politics is not new to me and I’m not like those people who are running for the first time. I need not to do all the work by moving to all the nooks and crannies of Ondo State.

“I am not new to the people of Ondo State, I ran before and I had very impressive result at the last engagement when I ran for the governorship of this state. It is my ambition to become the governor of this state and I’m back to realise that ambition.”

Ibrahim, who described the Ahmed Makarfi faction’s candidate of the party, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), as new in the state politics, advised him “to take his time.”

He said, “It took me from 2008 to the present date to gain this political legitimacy. You cannot come just in one day and begin to think you can win election like that.”

Speaking on his plan for the people of the state if eventually elected, Ibrahim said he would give priority to the prompt payment of workers’ salaries and expose them to training and retraining.

He stated, “I need to take the state from the hopeless situation it is now to a very hopeful situation. I need to take away injustice, we cannot afford to have a senatorial district producing governors for 16 years at a go. That is injustice, that is hopeless and we will not allow that, and that will not happen in Ondo State.”

Ondo PDP crisis: Counsel to Jimoh Ibrahim withdraws.

Alex Iziyon, a senior counsel to Ondo governorship candidate, Jimoh Ibrahim has withdrawn as his counsel.

Iziyon was representing Jimoh Ibrahim in his candidacy tussle with Eyitayo Jegede at the Appeal Court.

A respondent in the appeal, Biyi Poroye had accused the appeal panel led by Justice Jummai Sankey of receiving bribe in order to rule in favour of Eyitayo Jegede.

The panel had withdrawn from the case pending the determination of the allegations raised while the counsel had claimed to not have prior knowledge of the petition and condemned it.

In a letter addressed to Jimoh Ibrahim, Iziyon said he was withdrawing because of allegations made against him by Sankey.

He said, “You will recall my position was indicated by the presiding justice as having the foreknowledge of the petition written by the first respondent, despite my protest and innocence. It is in this regard that I hereby withdraw from further appearance.

“This is to enable you brief another lawyer who shall take over the file. We will forward the file and the processes to your Personal Assistant forthwith,” Iziyon said.