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, 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 refuted 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 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 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 people need to be detained right away for supporting the unjustifiable.
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.
Additionally, a dollar bazaar allegedly took place during the party’s presidential primary in Abuja in May, where the highest bidder won the ticket after allegedly giving thousands of dollars to complicit delegates across the country.
Onwubiko from HURIWA said.
Onwubiko from HURIWA added,
“Another indication that Nigeria’s democracy is under threat is the return of N122.4 million by at least four PDP NWC members as an alleged bribe to be silent regarding the millions of naira the party raised at the most recent primary.
“The EFCC has charges against the PDP chairman and all of the NWC members, and the anti-graft commission must detain them right away so that they may be questioned about the suspected false 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. Parties and candidates with such a history of corruption ought to never be given the chance to become president of Nigeria in 2023. At the expense of the average person, they are self-centered and concerned with their own interests.