The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), last night, dismissed bribery allegation levelled against it by some members of its National Working Committee, saying the money was their housing allowance and their right, which was paid through due process.
PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, said, “The attention of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has been drawn to misrepresenting reports in a section of the media, alluding strange and unfounded motives to the Housing Allowance duly approved and paid to NWC members and staff of the party.
The NWC has noted that this misleading report stemmed from an unfounded publication by a particular media outlet, which suggested that the Housing Allowance, an entitlement duly approved and paid to national officials and staff of the Party amounted to bribery.“For the avoidance of doubt, the PDP states in an unequivocal term that no funds were paid into the account of any member of the NWC as bribe for any purpose whatsoever for that matter.
To set the record straight, the Housing Allowance being referred to went through the Due Process of the Party in line with the Conditions of Service and Entitlement of the Staff and Principal Officers of the Party. “If any individual, for any reason decides to return money duly approved and paid, such does not in any way suggest that the money was paid as bribe or indicate that it was illegitimate or unlawfully paid.
“A bribe is defined as ‘money or any other valuable consideration given or promised with a view to corrupting the behavior of a person especially in that person’s performance as a public official…’ This is not the case in the payment of Housing Allowance duly approved for officials and staff of the Party.“The PDP, therefore, urges all members, teeming supporters and the general public to disregard the report and misleading insinuation which are clearly designed to malign the PDP, cause disaffection and distract our Party from our mission to Rescue, Rebuild and Redirect our nation from the misrule of the All Progressives Congress (APC),” the statement stated.
The deputy national chairman, Taofeek Arapaja; the National Vice Chairman for South-south, Dan Orbih; the National treasurer, and the woman leader, Stella Effah Atoi, had accused the party leadership of attempting to bribe them and consequently returned the money.
Sources also claimed that the National Vice Chairman, Southeast, Dr Alli Odefa; the National Vice-Chairman, Southwest, Adagunobi-Oluwatukesi and the Deputy National Secretary, Setonji Koshoedo, had equally returned their own portions of the money, but the claim has not been confirmed.But Araphaja has allegedly returned N36 million paid to him, while Effah-Attoe and Orbih each returned N28 million, claiming it was suspicious.
The trio, however, are members of the camp of the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, who has remained bitter and inconsolable since he lost both the presidential ticket and the slot for running mate and had since been rooting for the ouster of the PDP National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu.Arapaja, writing to Ayu, said, “I observed a malicious story reported in the Nations Newspaper of 26” September, 2022, where it was alleged that members of the National Working Committee were offered humongous amount of money to silent us over an allegation of financial misappropriation to the tune of Fifteen Billion Naira (N15,000,000,000.00).
This led me to browse through my various alerts, and I discovered a transfer of Thirty-Six Million Naira (N36,000,000.00) from the Party. I have my reservation about this money transferred into my account and for personal reasons, wish to return it accordingly. Kindly confirm the receipt of UBA Electronic Transfer of the Thirty-Six Million Naira (N36,000,000.00) attached herewith.”Orbih wrote too, that, “My attention has been drawn to a damaging trending story reported in THE NATION Newspaper by Yusuf Alli on September 26, 2022 titled: ‘Disquiet in PDP NWC over N10 billion nomination fees.’
Amongst several other allegations, he alleged that members of the NWC were offered N28 million to gloss over scandalous financial misappropriation. To my shock and surprise, & has been confirmed to me by my bank that the sum of N28, 800,000. (Twenty eight million eight hundred thousand Naira) has been credited to my account by the party. I hereby notify you of my decision to pay back the money to the party’s account.”
He went further to confirm that he returned the money and stood by the content of the letter, confirming Arapaja had also returned the money.
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