BusinessDay

Why we returned N122.4m alleged bribe money – PDP NWC members

The crises rocking the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) deepened on Thursday, with the return of N122.4m by four members of the National Working Committee (NWC) allegedly bribe money, ostensibly given as “ housing allowance”

Taofik Arapaja, Dan Orbih and Stella Effah-Attoe, who are the party’s Deputy National Chairman (South), National Vice Chairman (South-South) and the party’s National Women Leader respectively, in separate letters sighted by the BusinessDay in Abuja, said they were returning the money, as the purpose was not clear to them.

The letters dated September 29, 2022, indicate that the NWC members were given different amounts of money

Dan Orbih in a telephone chat with BusinessDay in Abuja on Thursday, confirmed the return of the money to the party, adding that “ I also wrote the letter to the party”

Arapaja had in his letter, stated that:

“I observed a malicious story reported in a national Newspaper of 26” September, 2022; where it was alleged that members of the National Working Committee were offered humongous amount of money to silent us over an allegation of financial misappropriation to the tune of Fifteen Billion Naira (N15,000,000,000.00).

“This led me to browse through my various alerts, and I discovered a transfer Of Thirty-Six Million Naira (N36,000,000.00) from the Party.

The PDP chieftain stated, “I have my reservation about this money transferred into my account and for personal reasons wish to return it accordingly.

“Kindly confirm the receipt of UBA Electronic Transfer of the Thirty-Six Million Naira (N36,000,000.00) attached herewith.

Yours faithfully,

Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja DNC South.

Dan Orbih, while also making reference to the story in the national newspaper, of September 26, 2022 titled “Disquiet in PDP NWC over N10 billion nomination fees”, described the report as “ damaging”

According to Orbih, “Amongst several other allegations, he alleged that members of the NWC were offered N28 million to gloss over scandalous financial misappropriation. To my shock and surprise, it has been confirmed to me by my bank that the sum of N28, 800,000. (Twenty-eight million eight hundred thousand Naira) has been credited to my account by the party. I hereby notify you of my decision to pay back the money to the party’s account.

Kindly confirm receipt of Zenith Bank Manager’s cheques of.

N10,000,000 , N10,000,000, N8,800,000 TOTAL= N28,800,000 to the Party’s account. Ace: 1000095003, Globus Bank PLC. Yours sincerely,

Dan Orbih

National Vice Chairman, South/South.

The National Woman Leader of the party, in her letter to the Party Treasurer, recalls her she was paid N28.8m on the 14th of September, 2022.

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She disclosed that she had been “inundated with phone calls”

According to her, “If you may recall, the sum of Twenty Eight Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira (N28,800,000.00) Onty was paid into my UBA Account Number 2053101024 on the 14th of September, 2022 When I enquired from your Office, I was told that the said sum is for Two {2) years House Rent for me, as a member of The National Working Committee.

“Since after the lodgment of the money into my Bank Account, | have been inundated with many phone calls from Party members, friends, family members and the general public, insinuating that the said money has been given as a bribe to bring other NWC members and me on the side of The National Chairman following the crisis between him on one side and the Governor of Rivers State, H.E Governor Nyesom Wike/ Wike’s Group on the other side

“ In addition, some National Newspapers/Social Media Platforms have also accused the NWC members of being placated with Bribe of N28,800,000.00.

“This development has made me very uncomfortable Having found myself in such an embarrassing situation, | am hereby refunding to the Bank Account of our Great Party at the POP National Secretariat.

“Globus Bank, Account number: 1000095003. the sum of Twenty Eight Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira (N28,800,000.00) Only, earlier paid into my Bank Account

“At an appropriate time. when things normalize, whatever is due to me as my House Rent could be paid to me

“Thank you for your co-operation as we continue to work together in uplifting our Great Party.

A similar letter by Olusoji Adagunodo, the party’s National Vice Chairman (South-West) also confirmed the return of the N28.8m paid into his own account.

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