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Alleged bribe: Money paid to NWC members was housing allowance, says PDP

Alleged bribe: Money paid to NWC members was housing allowance, says PDP
September 30
08:52 2022

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says members of its national working committee (NWC) were not bribed.

On Thursday, some NWC members announced the refund of different amounts sent to their accounts by the party’s leadership.

The affected members include Taofeek Arapaja, deputy national chairman, south; Dan Osi Orbih, national vice chairman, south-south; Stella Effah-Atoe, national women leader; and Olasoji Adagunodo, national vice chairman, south-west.

In different statements, they alluded to the fact that the party erroneously paid the said amounts into their accounts without stating the purpose.

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Stella Effah-Atoe was the only NWC member that said the money was for house rent, adding that she had to return it because of “uncomfortable media reportage”.

Reacting to the development, Debo Ologunagba, the party’s national publicity secretary, said the NWC members were paid for housing allowance. 

In a statement on Friday, Ologunagba said the money went through due process before being paid into the accounts of the members of the NWC.

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“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 statement reads.

“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 a 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.

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“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).”

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FROM ONE CRISIS TO ANOTHER

In recent weeks, there has been crisis in the PDP over the insistence of allies of Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, on the resignation of Iyorchia Ayu, the party’s national chairman.

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There have also been allegations of financial misappropriation against the Ayu-led NWC of the party, with claims that funds from sale of nomination forms have not been properly accounted for.

TheCable had reported that some members of the PDP NWC are pushing for a probe of the party’s finances under Ayu’s watch.

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An insider had told TheCable that some of the NWC members are seeking an audit of about N1 billion which the party got from friends of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the party.

Last Friday, Wike, in a media chat, accused Ayu of receiving N1 billion from one of the presidential hopefuls in the party, while alleging that the national chairman is “very corrupt”.

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