In a new twist to the crisis in the party, some members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have returned various amount of money ostensibly paid into their bank accounts to bribe them from moving against the National Chairman of the party, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu.
According to the Nigerian Tribune report, those who refunded the money included the National Deputy Chairman (South), Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja; the National Vice Chairman (South-South), Chief Dan Orbih; PDP National Woman Leader, Prof. Stella Effah-Attoe and the National Vice Chairman (Southwest), Honourable Olasoji Adagunodo.
All four of them wrote separate letters addressed to the National Chairman dated 29th September, 2022, confirming that they had returned the money which motive they said they did not know.
In returning the sum of N36 million paid to him, Arapaja wrote: “I observed a malicious story reported in the Nations Newspaper of 26th September, 2022 where it was alleged that members of the National Working Committee were offered humongous amount of money to silence us
over an allegation of financial misappropriation to the tune of N15 billion.
“This led me to browse through my various alerts and I discovered a transfer of N36 million from the party.
“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 N36 million attached herewith.”
Orbih, whose bank account was credited with the sum of N28 million, wrote: “Dear Dr. lyorchia Ayu, my attention has been drawn to a damaging trending story reported in The Nation Newspaper by Yusuf Alli on September 26, 2022 titled “Disquiet in PDP NWC over N10 billion nomination fees.”
“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. 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. A/C: 1000095003, Globus Bank PLC.”
The National Woman Leader also wrote Ayu, stating: “If you may recall, the sum of N28,800,000.00 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-years house rent for me as a member of the National Working Committee.
“Since after the lodgment of the money into my Bank Account, I 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 me and other NWC members on the side of the National Chairman, following the crisis between him on one side and the Governor of Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Wike/ Wike’s Group on the other side.
“In addition, some National Newspapers/Social Media Platforms have also carried stories accusing 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, I am hereby refunding to the bank account of our great party at the PDP National Secretariat; Globus Bank, Account number: 1000095003, the sum of 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 cooperation as we continue to work together in uplifting our great party.”
On his part, Adagunodo, who was also paid the sum of N28.8 million, wrote: “The above subject matter refers.
“Please be informed that the said payment has become a subject of media story and carried with bad intention by them.
“I hereby inform you of the refund of the Sum of N28,800.000:00 back to the Peoples Democratic Party, Account Number: 1000095003 at Globus Bank PL.C.
“The receipt of the payment back to the account is attached.”