The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has denied reports that the over N90 million returned by six members of the National Working Committee (NWC) were paid as bribes.
Naija News reports that there had been reported that the PDP national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, allegedly paid over N100m into the account of NWC members after the primaries of the party.
The report alleged that Ayu transfered the money from the over N10 billion realised by PDP from the sales of nomination forms.
Four members of the party’s NWC on Thursday returned monies ‘mysteriously’ paid into their accounts.
The NWC members that returned the money to the party include, the National Vice Chairman (South-West), Olasoji Adagunodo, the Deputy National Chairman (South) Taofeek Arapaja; National Vice Chairman (South), Dan Orbih and National Women Leader, Stella Affah-Attoe.
It was reported that Orbih, Adagunodo and Effah-Attoe got N28.8 million each, while Arapaja got N36 million.
Reacting to the allegation of bribery on Thursday, the National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Debo Ologunagba said the money was meant for ‘Housing Allowance.’
He said the attention of the NWC “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 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.”
He stated that 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 a bribe or indicate that it was illegitimate or unlawfully paid.
According to Ologunagba, “A bribe is defined as ‘money or any other valuable consideration given or promised with a view to corrupting the behaviour 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.”