…..Allegation spurious, irresponsible, says PDP
By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, hinted of plans yesterday to drag former Edo State Commissioner of Information and suspended member for the party, Mr Kassim Afegbua over allegation of N10 billion financial impropriety against its national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.
The PDP said yesterday that it has already briefed its team of lawyers on the next line of action over the allegation.
Afegbua, a suspended member of the PDP had on Monday dragged Prince Secondus to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC.
Afegbua, who stormed the offices of the EFCC and ICPC in Abuja yesterday morning, prayed, in his petition, that the leadership of the Uche Secondus-led PDP be subjected to financial scrutiny.
While handing over his petition to the two anti-graft agencies, Afegbua urged them to look into the financial transactions of the National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, in the spirit of transparency, accountability and book-keeping in line with the exisiting anti-corruption laws.
He noted that much of the financial transactions of the PDP under Prince Uche Secondus has been shrouded in mystery, accusing the leadership of deliberate attempt to shortchange the party in the build up to the 2023 general elections.
Afegbua is asking the anti-graft agencies to look into and scrutinise close to N10b naira that allegedly accrued to the party’s purse from 2017 till date especially those that were as a result of sales of nomination forms for Presidential, Gubernatorial, House of Assembly and Senatorial elections, saying as an opposition party, the leadership should lead by example by ensuring that there is transparency and accountability.
He specifically accused the National Chairman, Uche Secondus of not living up to the expectations of strengthening the party to play its formidable role as a virile opposition party, adding that, avoiding the use of the party’s bank accounts and resorting to the use of one MORUFU NIGERIA LIMITED allegedly as a conduit pipe for financial mismanagement in the sales of forms in 2019 was an abberation.
He called on the EFCC and ICPC Chairmen to urgently ensure that due diligence is carried out to safeguard Nigeria democracy and guarantee the interest of the party’s overwhelming members.
Reacting to the petition at a press conference yesterday, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan said that the main opposition party was yet to be contacted by both the EFCC and ICPC.
Ologbondiyan said that PDP had since submitted the audited account of its financial expenditures to the Independent National Electoral Common, INEC, for 2019, in line with statutory requirements of the law, describing Afegbua’s allegation as spurious and irresponsible.
The NPS of the PDP said, “The attention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been drawn to a spurious and irresponsible allegation by one Kassim Afegbua, upon which he claimed to have petitioned the EFCC and ICPC, asking that the leadership of the party account for an alleged sum of N10 billion.
“While the PDP, our leaders and members are aware that there is no truth in the allegation, however for the benefit of the public and our teeming supporters, the PDP states as follows:
“The PDP did not raise Afegbua’s fictitious sum of N10 billion as alleged by him.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the PDP generated the sum of N4.6 billion and raised a budget for its expenditure, in line with all known financial regulations of our party.
“This budget passed through the organs of our party and received the approvals from the NWC, the Governors’ Forum, the Board of Trustees as well as other organs of the party.