The unceasing political drama between Kaduna Governor, Malam Nasir el Rufai and his political foe, Senator Shehu Sani, has taken a bizarre dimension from an unknown quarter, the Chairman of the Electoral Panel set up by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to preside over the party’s recent primaries in Kaduna State, Mr. Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, who is alleging that Senator Shehu Sani offered him a N10 million bribe to get an affirmation for his controversial automatic ticket.
But Sani has described as mischievous and frivolous the news that he offered financial inducements to the party officials.
“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,” asked Sani through his spokesman, who pointed tacitly pointed in the direction of el Rufai as the source of the allegation.
Responding to allegations of bribery against his committee, Mr. 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.”
Another member of the Electoral Committee, Mr. Akeem Okedara, according to media reports, denied allegations of attempts to bribe to tilt the results in favour of any aspirant of the APC in the state.
His words: “There was nothing like that. It was Shehu Sani who wanted to give us something but we turned it down.”
But Senator Sani added: “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.”