Indicators that the disaster within the main opposition Peoples Democratic Get together (PDP) is getting messier emerged Thursday with 5 members of the Nationwide Working Committee (NWC) loyal to Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike, returned a complete of N151.2 million paid into their separate accounts by the get together.
Members of the NWC that rejected the cash embody; Deputy Nationwide Chairman (South) Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, Nationwide Vice Chairman (South-south) Chief Dan Orbi, Nationwide Vice Chairman (South-west) Hon Olasoji Adagunodo, Nationwide Vice Chairman (South-east) Dr. Ali Odefa, and Nationwide Ladies Chief Professor Stella Effah-Attoe.
They claimed the cash was tagged bribe by some members of the get together to affect them to stall the removing of the PDP Nationwide Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, and ignore the alleged monetary misconduct within the get together.
Blueprint experiences that the Wike-led faction of the PDP just lately pulled out of the marketing campaign council of the get together’s presidential candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
They vowed to not play any position in Atiku’s marketing campaign forward of the 2023 common elections, insisting Ayu should resign to create a approach for a Southerner to turn into the get together’s nationwide chairman for them to rescind their determination.
On Wednesday, a member of the PDP Nationwide Government Committee (NEC), Chief Chinemerem Madu, had raised the alarm over alleged plot to scuttle the marketing campaign of the get together’ s presidential candidate.
He claimed a nationwide vice chairman whose identify he didn’t point out, confessed to have been closely bankrolled and was approaching in addition to providing NEC members sums starting from N25 million to N28 million every to handle a dangerous press convention with fabrications geared toward derailing the presidential marketing campaign.
Nevertheless, a reputable supply within the get together, mentioned Madu’s allegation was to distract Nigerians from the revelation of alleged misappropriation of funds that may be made public in days.
NWC members open up
Nevertheless, opposite to his claims, Arapaja, based on a letter he wrote to Ayu, a replica of which was made accessible to Blueprint, returned Thirty-Six Million Naira (N36,000,000.00), whereas Orbih, Adagunodo and Effah-Attoe returned N28, 800,000 (Twenty eight million eight hundred thousand Naira) every which was paid into their varied accounts from the PDP account.
Arapaja, within the letter addressed to PDP nationwide chairman, dated twenty ninth September, 2022 and titled Return of Thirty-Six Million Naira (N36,000,000.00) Housing Allowance Paid into my Account, mentioned: “I noticed a malicious story reported in The Nations Newspaper of twenty sixth September, 2022; the place it was alleged that members of the Nationwide Working Committee had been supplied humongous sum of money to silent us over an allegation of economic misappropriation to the tune of Fifteen Billion Naira (N15,000,000,000.00).”
“This led me to flick thru my varied alerts, and I found a switch Of Thirty-Six Million Naira (N36, 000,000.00) from the Get together.
“I’ve my reservation about this cash transferred into my account and for private causes want to return it accordingly.
“Kindly verify the receipt of UBA Digital Switch of the Thirty-Six Million Naira (N36, 000,000.00) hooked up herewith,” the letter learn.
In an analogous letter dated twenty ninth September 2022, addressed to Ayu, Orbi mentioned:”My consideration has been drawn to a dangerous trending story reported in The Nation Newspaper by Yusuf Alli on September 26, 2022 titled “Disquiet in PDP NWC over N10 billion nomination charges.”
It mentioned: “Amongst a number of different allegations, he alleged that members of the NWC had been supplied N28 million to gloss over scandalous monetary misappropriation.
“To my shock and shock, it has been confirmed to me by my financial institution that the sum of N28, 800,000 (Twenty-eight million eight hundred thousand Naira) has been credited to my account by the get together. I hereby notify you of my determination to pay again the cash to the get together’s account.
“Kindly verify receipt of Zenith Financial institution Supervisor’s cheques”.
Orbih when contacted by journalists in Abuja, Thursday confirmed that the letter emanated from him and others.
Adagunodo in yet one more letter dated twenty ninth September, 2022 additionally addressed to the nationwide chairman and titled “Credit score of N28,800,000:00 (Twenty Eight Million Eight Hundred 1000’s Naira) into my Account Quantity by the Get together” said that please be told that the mentioned fee has turn into a topic of media story and carried with dangerous intention by them.”
The letter partly learn “I hereby inform you of the refund of the Sum of Twenty Eight Million Eight Hundred Thousand Naira (28,800.000:00) again to the Peoples Democratic Get together, Account Quantity 1000095003 at Globus Financial institution Plc.
“The receipt of the fee again to the account is hooked up.”
Additionally on her half, the PDP Nationwide Ladies chief in a unique letter dated twenty ninth September, 2022 addressed to the get together’s nationwide treasurer, titled “Refund of Funds into the Peoples Democratic Get together (PDP) account” said that “for those who might recall, the sum of Twenty Eight Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira (N28, 800,000.00) solely was paid into my UBA Account Quantity 2053101024 on the 14th of September, 2022.
“Once I enquired out of your workplace, I used to be informed that the mentioned sum is for Two (2) years Home Lease for me, as a member of the Nationwide Working Committee.
Effah-Attoe’s letter additional learn: “Since after the lodgment of the cash into my Financial institution Account, I’ve been inundated with many cellphone calls from Get together members, mates, members of the family and most people, insinuating that the mentioned cash has been given as a bribe to deliver me and different NWC members on the aspect of the Nationwide Chairman following the disaster between him on one aspect and the Governor of Rivers State, H.E Governor Nyesom Wike’s Group on the opposite aspect.
“As well as, some Nationwide Newspapers/Social Media Platforms have additionally carried tales accusing the NWC members of being placated with bribe of N28, 800,000.00.
“This growth has made me very uncomfortable having discovered myself in such an embarrassing state of affairs, I’m hereby refunding to the Financial institution Account of our Nice Get together on the PDP Nationwide Secretariat. Globus Financial institution, Account quantity: 1000095003 the sum of Twenty Eight Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira (N28, 800,000.00) solely, earlier paid into my Financial institution Account.
“At an acceptable time when issues normalise, no matter is because of me as my home hire could possibly be paid to me.”
Additionally returning his personal share of the cash, Odefa in a separate letter dated twenty ninth September, 2022 and addressed to Ayu, mentioned: “My consideration has been drawn to a really distasteful and disturbing story revealed in The Nations Newspaper of 26 September 2022; whereby it was alleged that members of the Nationwide Working Committee had been supplied an enormous sum of money as a way of silencing us over an allegation of misappropriation of funds to the tune of Fifteen Billion Naira (N15,000,000,000.00) and upon cross checking with my checking account officer, I found a switch of Twenty-Eight Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira solely (N28,800,000.00) from the get together.”
“Actually, I’ve my reservations about this fund transferred into my account and for apparent causes I want to return it accordingly.
“Please do verify the receipt of UBA Digital Switch of the sum of Twenty-Eight Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira solely (N28, 800,000.00) as hooked up,” Odefa wrote.
PDP refutes bribery declare
However in a response, the PDP described the bribery allegation as false.
In an announcement Thursday by its nationwide publicity secretary, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, the get together mentioned the controversial sum returned by the 5 NWC members, was housing allowance duly accepted and paid to them and different workers members.
“The NWC has famous that this deceptive report stemmed from an unfounded publication by a selected media outlet which urged that the Housing Allowance, an entitlement duly accepted and paid to nationwide officers and workers of the Get together amounted to bribery.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the PDP states in an unequivocal time period that no funds had been paid into the account of any member of the NWC as bribe for any objective in any respect for that matter.
“To set the report straight, the Housing Allowance being referred to went by the Due Strategy of the Get together in step with the Circumstances of Service and Entitlement of the Workers and Principal Officers of the Get together.
“If any particular person, for any motive decides to return cash duly accepted and paid, such doesn’t in any approach counsel that the cash was paid as bribe or point out that it was illegitimate or unlawfully paid.
“A bribe is outlined as cash or some other invaluable consideration given or promised with a view to corrupting the habits of an individual particularly in that particular person’s efficiency as a public official…”. This isn’t the case within the fee of Housing Allowance duly accepted for officers and workers of the Get together.
“The PDP due to this fact urges all members, teeming supporters and most people to ignore the report and deceptive insinuation that are clearly designed to malign the PDP, trigger disaffection and distract our Get together from our mission to Rescue, Rebuild and Redirect our nation from the misrule of the All Progressives Congress (APC),” the get together mentioned.