The seven-man screening committee of the Unity Forum of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, on Wednesday, said money given to the committee by governorship aspirants during screening were not bribes.
There have been discontents since the choice of Chief Olusola Oke was announced as the consensus governorship candidate of the group, with some of the aspirants alleging that the committee collected bribe.
It would be recalled that a former Deputy Governor of the Ondo State, who is also the leader of the APC Unity Forum, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, on Tuesday announced the choice of Oke, as the group’s consensus candidate for the forthcoming APC primary.
Chairman of the screening committee, Senator Omogunwa, while speaking with journalists in Akure on Wednesday, denied allegations of bribery.
He said. “When we are holding meetings, there is no water, no biscuits and we are working day and night.
“So, when Segun Abraham came and was going, he gave the seven-man committee N100,000 openly. Jimi Odimayo gave the committee N200,000, Adelani gave the committee N500,000, Adelegan gave the committee N50,000, Alhaji Kazeem gave N20,000. All of them gave the committee the money openly there.
“I think the total amount is N1.2m that was shared by the seven of us. From this money, we booked hotel for three nights for the secretary of the committee, because he was coming to and from Ile Ife. If that is what they say is kickback or bribe, may be yes, but any other thing is not to my knowledge.”
Throwing more light on the choice of Oke as the group’s consensus candidate, Omoguwa said the Committee’s Secretary, Prof. Sola Ehindero showed a preference for a technocrat as governor while the only woman in the committee preferred a female aspirant.
He said: “All the aspirants are competent but I agreed with the majority that said, Chief Oke. The secretary left without signing (the report). The only woman in our midst also did not sign.
“The aspirants told us to do it the way it pleased us and they will support whoever emerges. We followed the minds of the public. A politician should wait for his time.”
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