The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Phillip Shaibu has accused former Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole of bribing some members of the state House of Assembly with N40 million each to support the candidacy of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu in the September 19 gubernatorial election in the state.
He identified those that allegedly collected the money as Deputy Speaker, Yekini Idiaye and other lawmakers backing the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate.
Shaibu, who is the deputy governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), stated this on Tuesday in Lampese, Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of the state.
Addressing residents of the council, the deputy governor told them to challenge Idiaye, who represents Akoko-Edo Constituency (I), and the member representing Akoko-Edo Constituency (II), Emmanuel Agbaje, who also allegedly got the N40 million bribe.
Recall that Idiaye and Agbaje pledged their support for Ize-Iyamu on Sunday.
“The Speaker of the EDHA and all the principal officers are supporting the governor while those that left demanded money which he (Governor Godwin Obaseki) declined because of the love and interest of Edo people.
“Hon Agbaje and Hon. Yekini collected N40m each to throw their support for Ize-Iyamu. Oshiomhole also gave N5m each to councillors to switch loyalty and support the APC candidate,” Shaibu said.
Reacting to the allegation, Idiaye described it as a lie, saying that one did not need to collect money to remain in his party.
“You only collect money to defect to other parties,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the Edo House of Assembly, Francis Okiye, on Tuesday said there was nothing unusual about the lawmakers backing the candidates of their choice for the election.
Okiye was reacting to the endorsement of the APC candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, by the Deputy Speaker, Yekini Idiaye, and two other members of the house.
The speaker in a statement he signed and made available to newsmen in Benin City said: “It is imperative to state the actual position of things in Edo House of Assembly right now.
“It is not unusual for legislators and indeed politicians to engage in political re-alignments in this part of democracy like in Nigeria.
“That the Deputy Speaker and 2 other lawmakers chose to support the APC governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, is within their constitutional right,” he said.
According the speaker, the lawmakers said they merely declined moving to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and chose to work for the candidate of their party, the APC.
Okiye stated that the three lawmakers still remained members and part of the 10 lawmakers in the Edo house of assembly.
Recall that the House had declared vacant, the seats of the 14 members of the House who were not sworn in, following the crisis that had bedevilled the house for years.