In connection with the alleged return of N122.4 million in bribes to the party, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been tasked by the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) to arrest members of the Peoples Democratic Party’s, National Working Committee(NWC) and the party’s national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.
Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the National Coordinator of HURIWA, referred to the alleged grand theft and corruption that is allegedly taking place within the PDP under Ayu as despicable in a statement. In particular, he alleged that Ayu gave N122.4 million to four NWC members to silence them regarding a claim of financial misappropriation to the tune of N15 billion derived from the sale of nomination and expression of interest forms by candidates who took part in the PDP primary.
The organization claimed that the fact that the party has not publicly denied the charges made by at least four PDP members demonstrated that an unparalleled level of corruption is currently taking place within the PDP.
According to Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), the PDP’s insistence that the payments were regular and legal is a slap in the face to decent citizens. She also said it is incomprehensible for elected office party leaders—who ought to be accomplished people pursuing lucrative careers and professional vocations—to now be claimed to receive housing allowances because this turns common sense on its head.
“Do they want to tell us that these officials sent accommodation allowances or whatever called, were hitherto homeless before they got elected into the NEC of the PDP and if they are homeless, what kind of mansion would cost an average person over 20 million Naira for just two years? These persons defending the indefensible should be arrested immediately,” HURIWA said.
Remember how the NWC members claimed in different letters to the PDP that the funds had been deposited into their accounts without their knowledge. Additionally, they said that up until a media exposé that revealed them, they believed the funds were for their “home rent.”
The National Vice Chairman (South-West), Olasoji Adagunodo, the Deputy National Chairman (South), Taofeek Arapaja, the National Vice Chairman (South), Chief Dan Orbih, and the National Women Leader, Prof. Stella Affah-Attoe, are the NWC members that returned the funds.
Arapaja received N36 million, compared to N28.8 million each for Adagunodo, Orbih, and Effah-Attoe.
PDP has set the prices for its presidential nomination and expression of interest forms at N40,000,000, N21,000,000 for governorship, N3.5,000,000 for the Senate, N2.5,000,000 for the House of Representatives, and N600,000,000 for the State House of Assembly.
“Also, a dollar bazaar had occurred especially during the presidential primary of the party in Abuja back in May where the highest bidder got the ticket after allegedly doling out thousands of dollars to complicitous delegates nationwide,” HURIWA’s Onwubiko said.
HURIWA’s Onwubiko added,
“The return of N122.4 million by at least four PDP NWC members as alleged bribe to keep quiet over billions of naira collected by the party at the last primary is another evidence that Nigeria’s democracy is challenged.
“The PDP chairman and all the NWC members have cases to answer at the EFCC and the anti-graft commission must immediately arrest them for interrogation into the alleged bogus corruption.
“It is shameful that a party which claims it wants to govern Nigeria is involved in this kind of scandal. What shall Nigerians expect from such a party should it produce the next president? Corruption galore!
“Nigerians must vote correctly in the next election. Parties and candidates with record of corruption like this should never be given a chance to enter Aso Rock as Nigeria’s president in 2023. They are selfish and concerned about their gains at the peril of the common man.”
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