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 and the party’s national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, in connection with the purported return of N122.4 million in bribes to the party.
Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the National Coordinator of HURIWA, called the alleged grand theft and corruption occurring in the PDP under Ayu despicable in a statement, particularly the claim that he gave N122.4 million to four NWC members to silence them over a claim of financial misappropriation to the tune of N15 billion obtained from the sale of nomination and expression of interest forms by candidates who took part in the PDP primary back in 2015.
According to the group, the party has not publicly refuted the claims made by at least four PDP members that there is unheard-of corruption taking place within the PDP.
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 who received housing allowances or whatever they were called were previously homeless before they were elected to the PDP’s NEC? If so, what kind of mansion would a typical person have to pay over 20 million Naira for in just two years if they were still homeless? These individuals should be detained without delay.
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 had 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.
Onwubiko, “a dollar bazaar had also taken place, particularly during the presidential primary of the party in Abuja back in May where the highest bidder grabbed the ticket after allegedly doling out thousands of dollars to complicit delegates across the country.”
The return of N122.4 million by at least four PDP NWC members as an alleged bribe to stay quiet over billions of naira gathered by the party at the most recent primary. Onwubiko, is another indication that Nigeria’s democracy is under threat.
“The EFCC has cases against the PDP chairman and each member of the NWC, and the anti-graft agency must detain them right away so they can be questioned about the purported fake corruption.
“It is disheartening that a party that declares its desire to rule Nigeria is embroiled in this kind of scandal. Should this party produce the next president, what should Nigerians anticipate from him or her? a plethora of corruption
“Nigerians must cast valid ballots in the upcoming election. It should never be allowed for parties or candidates with a history of corruption to run for president of Nigeria in 2023. At the expense of the average person, they are self-centered and concerned with their own interests.