Bribery Scandal: PDP Denies Giving Leaders Bribe, Says ‘It Was Housing Allowance’
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has denied allegation in newspaper report that the leadership of PDP paid some millions of Naira discretely into the accounts of some members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to help stop them from removing the National Chairman of PDP, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, from office.
According to PDP, the money the party leadership paid to the accounts of some of the members of its National Working Committee “is their housing allowance.”
It would be recalled that The Nation newspaper had reported that Ayu allegedly paid over N100 million to the NWC members after the party’s primaries.
After the report, about four members of the Committee reportedly returned N122.4 million paid into their accounts by the party leaders.
Earlier reports said “the NWC members who returned the money include “the National Vice Chairman (South-West) Olasoji Adagunodo, the Deputy National Chairman (South) Taofeek Arapaja, National Vice Chairman (South-South) Chief Dan Orbih and National Woman Leader, Stella Affah-Attoe.
While Arapaja reportedly “got N36 million, Adagunodo, Orbih and Effah-Attoe got N28.8 million each.”
Reacting to the development, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, in a statement on Thursday evening, said the millions of naira paid to the top party officials were housing allowances, “an entitlements duly approved and paid to national officials and staff of the party.”
The statement reads, “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.”
Ologunagba also said that the “Housing Allowance being referred to” went through the party’s due process, in line with its conditions of service and the entitlement of its staff and principal officers.
“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,” he said.