The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) says it has set up a commission of inquiry to unravel the source of The national newspaper‘s publication on the disbursement of certain funds to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.
It should be recalled that six members of the PDP NWC repaid 177.6 million naira into the coffers of the opposition party.
The money, which ranges from 28 million naira to 36 million naira each, is said to have been part of the 15 billion naira nomination fee paid by aspirants for various offices in 2023.
In a bid to wash their hands of the mess, the PDP NWC members feigned ignorance that the money had been deposited into their accounts.
Some of them said they had to check various alerts received after The national newspaper published the messy sharing.
The party later said the funds were not paid into any NWC member’s account as a bribe, noting that the funds were a housing allowance which followed party due process. .
However, the PDP, in a statement released Tuesday by its national publicity secretary, Debo Ologunagba, said the main opposition party has set up a commission to investigate the source of the report.
The party said the decision was made at its NWC meeting held on Tuesday.
The statement reads: “The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at its meeting on Tuesday, October 4, 2022, thoroughly considered the strange publication of a particular newspaper which reported that the housing allowance lawfully paid by the party to its national officers was a bribe.
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“After a thorough review of the payment by the party, the NWC in session determined that the payment was not a bribe but a housing allowance duly approved and paid to national party officials in accordance with the terms of service and the rights of party staff and key leaders.
“The NWC has also determined that the payment was subject to due party procedures in accordance with all applicable party financial regulations and payment approval processes.
“It is also instructive to say that the National Officers who returned their housing allowances also confirmed and affirmed at the meeting that the payment was not a bribe but their entitlements due under the terms of service and to the rights of staff and principal officers of the party.
“In view of the above, the NWC has decided to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the said publication in The Nation newspaper on September 26, 2022, which was clearly intended to cause disaffection among party members and stakeholders as well as ‘to bring the party into disrepute in front of our many supporters all over the world, especially in an election year.
“As a result, the NWC has established a Commission of Inquiry headed by the National Legal Counsel to investigate the source of the said malicious and offensive publication contained in The Nation newspaper of September 26, 2022.
“The committee has one week to investigate the matter and report back to the NWC for further action,” the PDP said.