The Peoples Democratic Party has maintained its position that the money paid to its National Working Committee was not a bribe and vowed to probe such allegations.
According to The Punch, this was disclosed during the strategic meeting of the NWC, chaired by the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu on Tuesday in Abuja.
The NWC members returned N122.4m rent stipends paid into their account, alleging that they got the strange bank credit alerts after they queried the whereabouts of over N10bn realised as nomination fees during the party’s primaries.
PDP Deputy National Chairman (South), Taofeek Arapaja; (South-South), Dan Orbih, as well as the National Vice Chairman, (South-South), Stella Effah-Attoe were among the NWC committee who refunded the alleged rent fund.
Arapaja said he returned the funds in good faith and to clear his conscious as it was alleged that the money was a bribe to forestall the resignation call of Ayu.
Rising from its marathon meeting, the NWC resolved to investigate the allegations that the housing allowance paid to the NWC members was a bribe.
According to a statement by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, the National Legal Adviser of the party, Kamaludeen Ajibade SAN, will investigate the allegation and report back to the NWC within one week for further action.
The statement read, ‘’The National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party at its meeting on Tuesday, October 4, 2022, thoroughly examined the strange publication by a particular newspaper which reported that the Housing Allowance legally paid by the party to its National Officers was a bribe.
“After thorough scrutiny of the payment by the party, the NWC in the session established that the payment was not a bribe but housing allowance duly approved and paid to National Officers of the Party in line with the Conditions of Service and Entitlement of the Staff and Principal Officers of the party.
“The NWC also established that the payment passed through due process procedures of the Party by all extant financial regulations and payment approval processes of the party.
“It is also instructive to state that the National Officers who returned their Housing Allowances equally confirmed and affirmed at the meeting that the payment was not a bribe but their due entitlements in line with the Conditions of Service and Entitlement of the Staff and Principal Officers of the party.
“The NWC resolved to conduct an extensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding the said publication in The Nation newspaper of September 26, 2022, which was targeted to cause disaffection among members and stakeholders of the Party as well as bring the Party to disrepute before our teeming supporters all over the world, particularly in an election year.
“Consequently, the NWC has set up an Investigative Committee headed by the National Legal Adviser to conduct an inquiry into the source of the said malicious and injurious publication contained in The Nation newspaper of September 26, 2022.”