The Social Democratic Party’s candidate in the September 22 and 27 Osun gubernatorial polls, Iyiola Omisore, has denied being promised a senatorial ticket by the All Progressive Congress after he drummed support for the party in the rerun election.
The former federal lawmaker representing Osun East came third in the poll while the People’s Democratic Party’s Ademola Adeleke and Gboyega Oyetola of the APC emerged second and the first respectively.
Mr Omisore was speculated to have been promised a senatorial ticket for Osun East senatorial district in the 2019 elections amongst other juicy offers including the retrieval of his international passport seized by the EFCC.
Meanwhile, in an interview a day after the Osun election, the APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomole, denied placing a monetary offer before Mr. Omisore as a way of seeking his support.
When quizzed, Mr Oshiomole was quoted to have said; “I don’t like those words ‘automatic tickets.’ I was careful even after the meeting we had with our lawmakers not to use those words.”
Also, former aviation minister and a PDP chieftain, Femi Fani-Kayode, mockingly stated on Saturday that Mr Omisore was jilted by the APC.
“So my former cousin Iyiola Omisore did not get the Senatorial ticket for Ife East from the APC after the dirty job he did? The only thing he got from them was his passport. Some just got served. It never pays to sell ur (your) soul to the devil. His infamy and treachery is legendary,” Mr. Fani-Kayode posted on Twitter.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the Director of Gboyega Oyetola’s Campaign Organisation in Osun East, Ajibola Famurewa, is the APC senatorial candidate for Osun East.
However, in a telephone interview with PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Omisore’s media aide, Jide Fakorede, said his principal was never promised a senatorial ticket.
“We were never promised any senatorial ticket. Fine, there was an agreement but no senatorial agreement,” he said.
Reacting to the issue of a travel ban on Mr Omisore, Mr Fakorede, in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday, stated that his principal was erroneously indicted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2016 “and there was nothing like seizure of international passport”.
“Omisore was wrongly alleged in 2016 and he surrendered himself to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation and was given a ‘clean bill of health’ by the anti-graft body after a thorough investigation.
“It is on record that no case was instituted against him in any court of our land and neither was he arraigned before any court either. His international passport was never seized as being speculated too. He has been enjoying his freedom and has even presented himself for election into public office passing through all security screenings, ” Mr Fakorede said.
He added, “The basis for placement on the watch list and travel ban is to ensure that those answering EFCC charges are held within the country and for someone not having a current case with the anti-graft agency, there may be no basis to restrict his movement.”
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Mr Omisore was arrested on July 3, 2016, for allegedly collecting N1.3 billion from a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, who is being prosecuted for allegedly mismanaging billions of dollars meant to procure arms and ammunition for the Nigerian military during the Goodluck Jonathan-led government.
The former Osun State deputy governor eventually agreed to refund the cash, and also gave the anti-graft commission a draft of N130 million, bringing the first installment of the repayment plan to N300 million.
APC, EFCC React
Speaking on the promise of a senatorial ticket, the APC national publicity secretary, Lanre Issa-onilu, told PREMIUM TIMES that he was not aware of such promise.
“Mr. Omisore told the world why he backed up APC in that election and he stated his reasons clearly. I can’t recall if there was any promise made. We don’t have such information and it is not in the public (domain).”
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the anti-graft agency, Wilson Uwujaren, when contacted, said he did not have information on the matter.
“Let me cross-check and get back to you very soon,” he told PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday.
However, after the interview, Mr Uwujaren refused take further calls from the reporter. Later on, his telephone was switched off.