The Peoples Democratic Party has reacted to the refund of huge amount of money by members of the National Working Committee which some have described bribe money.
The National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Hon. Debo Ologunagba described the refund as ”Returned Housing Allowance.”
He said that the Housing allowances were approved and paid to members of staff of the Party.
Some members of the National Working Committee have refunded the sum of N177.6 million into the party’s account on the claim that it was paid mysteriously into their accounts by the leadership of the party.
Those who have returned the money so far are Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja: Deputy National Chairman South (N36), Hon Olasoji Adagunodo, National vice chairman South-West (N28.8), Chief Dan Osi Orbih, National Vice Chairman South-South (N28m), Prof. Stella Effah-Attoe. National Woman Leader (N28 million). Others are Dr. Alli Odefa, National vice Chairman South-West. Hon Setonji Koshoedo, Deputy National Secretary.
The PDP statement reads, “The attention of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 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.
“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 behavior 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 (APC).”
In a letter dated September 29, 2022, addressed to the National Chairman of the PDP, Adagunodo had said that the issue of the money was being reported in the media with negative connotations.
The letter with the title “CREDIT OF #28800000.00(TWENTY EIGHT MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND NAIRA) INTO MY ACCOUNT NUMBER 3098567123 BY THE PARTY reads:
“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 TWENTY EIGHT MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND NAIRA(#28800000:00) back to the peoples Democratic Party account number 10000095003 at Globus bank PLC.
“The receipt of the payment back to the account is attached.”