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PDP crisis: Party denies bribing NWC members

Anthony Iwuoma

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has denied allegations that it bribed four members of its National Working Committee (NWC) with millions of Naira.

The quartet included the Deputy National Chairman (South), Mr. Taofeek Arapaja; the party’s National Vice Chairman (South-West) Olasoji Adagunodo; National Vice Chairman (South), Chief Dan Orbih, and National Women Leader, Prof. Stella Affah-Attoe.

The four members whose bank accounts were credited with huge sums of money, totaling N122.4 million, reportedly rejected the ‘bribe’ and paid it back to party’s account.

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However, the PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, in a statement, said the accusation was misleading.

According to him, the said bribe was the housing allowances duly paid to the beneficiaries, having passed through the stipulated processes of the party.

The statement read, “The attention of the National Working Committee of the People’s Democratic Party has 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.

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“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 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.

“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 bribe or indicate that it was illegitimate or unlawfully paid

“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.

“The PDP, therefore, urges all members, teeming supporters and the general public to disregard the report and misleading insinuation which are clearly designed to malign the PDP, cause disaffection and distract our Party from our mission to Rescue, Rebuild and Redirect our nation from the misrule of the All Progressives Congress.”