The crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has taken a new twist as the leadership of the party faces investigation from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
This follows a petition by the Forum of PDP Candidates and Aspirants for 2023 Elections, against the national leadership of the party.
In the petition addressed to the EFCC chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, the group alleged misappropriation of funds, theft, forgery, among others.
The group called on the EFCC to investigate and prosecute the party leaders over misappropriation of funds, unlawful disbursement of funds, bribery and falsification of documents.
- Advertisement -
The petition listed the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu; National Secretary, Senator Samuel Anyanwu and Deputy National Chairman (North), Umar Iliya Damagnum, as officials to be investigated by the EFCC.
The petition dated September 30, 2022, and jointly signed by the Forum’s Coordinator, Chris Ogbu; Secretary, Dauda Yusuf; and Publicity Secretary, C. Ikenta, reads;
“It is a matter of national and international embarrassment that the aforementioned members of the National Executive Committee of the Party, without the due authorization of the NEC, has criminally mismanaged and frittered over N10 billion which the party realised from the sale of Nomination Form during the party primaries.
“They had also engaged in various acts of bribery and extortion of candidates without regard to the firm stand of the party in the fight against corruption.
“This allegation is backed up with the recent development of refund of various sums of money by some members of the National Working Committee who unknowingly received the alleged bribe from the trio of Senator Iyorchia Ayu (the National Chairman), Senator Samuel Anyanwu (The National Secretary) and Umar Iliya Damagnum (The Deputy National Chairman (North) into their various account numbers without their consent or authorization.
“Copies of letters returning back the alleged bribe to our party’s account are herein annexed and marked as Exhibit A series.
“It is even more disturbing that after the due nomination of candidates, Senator Iyorchia Ayu (the National Chairman), Senator Samuel Anyanwu (The National Secretary) and Umar Iliya Damagnum (The Deputy National Chairman – North) have now resorted to fraudulently swapping the names of lawfully nominated candidates of the party with names of candidates that lost primaries, all in exchange for bribes and other forms of gratifications.
“Based on the heavy allegations of monumental acts of misappropriation of party funds, financial recklessness, unauthorized disbursements of funds, bribery, forgery, swapping and racketeering of nomination of candidates, abuse of office and gross misconduct in the performance of their respective duties, some members of the National Executive Committee, such as Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja (the Deputy National Chairman – South) has honourably returned the sum of N36 Million illicitly transferred to his bank account without his consent or knowledge in furtherance of the embezzlement so also three other members of NWC whose letters are contained in Exhibit A series above.
“We make bold to state that our great party has never witnessed corruption of this magnitude since its formation and this unfolding show of shame has further damaged the esteemed image and public perception of our Party ahead of the 2023 General Elections.
“There is, therefore, an extremely urgent need, in the overall national and our party’s interest, for your commission to move in immediately and investigate the alleged financial crime of humongous magnitude and possibly charge all that are culpable to the court of competent jurisdiction to serve as a deterrent to others who may have a such plan of commission of same crime ahead of 2023 general election.
“This is not only in the interest of the party but also will save our nation from the national embarrassment before the comity of nations.”
The petition has reportedly caused unease among the PDP leadership, especially those affected by the petition.