The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party,(PDP), Iyorchia Ayu, has set up an investigative committee to look into the allegations that the housing allowance paid to the accounts of the National Working Committee ( NWC) members was a bribe.
This is a development that followed yesterday’s meeting presided over by Ayu to address the crisis concerning the housing allowance payment.
In a statement issued by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, the NWC resolved to conduct an inquiry into the source of the said malicious and injurious publication contained in The Nation newspaper of September 26, 2022, and as well conduct an extensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding the said publication which reported that the housing allowance legally paid by the party to its National Officers was a bribe.
According to the statement, the said report was targeted to cause disaffection among members and stakeholders of the Party as well as bring the Party to disrepute before it’s teeming supporters all over the world, particularly in an election year.
The investigative Committee, which will be headed by the party’s National Legal Adviser, Kamaludeen Ajibade SAN is set to investigate the allegation and report back to the NWC within one week for further action.
The statement noted that after thorough scrutiny of the payment by the party, the NWC in the session established that the payment was not a bribe but housing allowance duly approved and paid to national officers of the party in line with the conditions of service and entitlement of the staff and principal officers of the party.
It furthered that the NWC also established that the payment passed through due process procedures of the Party by all extant financial regulations and payment approval processes of the party.
The party noted that “It is also instructive to state that the national officers who returned their housing allowances equally confirmed and affirmed at the meeting that the payment was not a bribe but their due entitlements in line with the conditions of service and entitlement of the staff and principal officers of the party.”
Reports available said other members of the NWC attacked their colleagues who returned the allowance to the party coffers.
It would be recalled that last week, the PDP Deputy National Chairman (South), Taofeek Arapaja and five others returned a total sum of N122.4 million meant to be a housing allowance benefit from the party.
These NWC members were said to have returned the various amounts of money because they got the strange bank credit alerts after they queried the whereabout of over N10 billion realised as nomination fees during the party’s primaries, which was alleged to have reduced to 1billion in uncertain circumstances, leading to tension in the NWC.
Meanwhile, a member of the party’s National Executive Committee, Ibrahim Tsauri, highlighted why Ayu might be probed, noting that the approval limit of the chairman is N10 million.
Tsauri, who confirmed that there is nothing wrong in Ayu approving housing allowances for NWC members, but that such action must have the approval of the working committee.
“What the chairman did is normally done by the financial secretary. If there is money available, what the party does is that the NWC will instruct the financial secretary to make a budget of what is to be given to NWC members. They don’t have salaries; they only go with these legitimate allowances,” he said.
This article was originally published on Naija News