By CHIBUZO UKAIBE, Abuja
The battle for the national chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) turned dirty as a controversial N9 billion allegedly embezzled by the immediate past national working committee of the party resurfaced yesterday.
This comes as former national treasurer of the PDP, Alhaji Buhari Bala denied that the former national chairman of the party, Adamu Mu’azu left the sum of money behind in the coffers of the party.
There has been allegation that over N9 billion generated from the sale of nomination forms for the 2015 general elections by the former national leadership was not properly accounted for.
The then acting national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, had at a press briefing in Abuja, after the 2015 general elections, explain that the actual amount generated was little over N11 billion and not N12 billion.
He explained that some percentages were expended on assignments by various party functionaries and the rest was used to fund our campaigns, he added “We raised money and we used the money for elections. We don’t need to go into details”.
Reacting yesterday to the renewed allegation, former National Treasurer of the PDP, Alhaji Buhari Bala in a statement disclosed that the former National Chairman of the party, Adamu Mu’azu never left N9 billion behind and as such should not be used as campaign issue in the forthcoming national convention.
The former National Treasurer, in a statement pointed out that PDP money was never squandered, adding that auditors and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have given the party a clean bill.
He said, “Our attention has been drawn to the cheap and malicious publication in some media to the effect that members of the former National Working Committee NWC of our party, the PDP squandered the party’s fund to the tune of N9 billion said to have been left behind by the former national chairman Adamu Muazu.”
“It’s very clear from the story that the author is acting on ignorance or may have set out for a deliberate mischief as no such money of the party was left by Muazu nor misappropriated by anybody.”
Bala explained that the party’s audited report during the period under review was available, adding that an accounting audit firm audited the accounts of the party and expressed their opinion on the accounts.
“Independent National Electoral Commission INEC also sent in their own appointed auditors to inspect the books of the accounts of the party. They all gave clean bill of health to the books of accounts of the party. Same was reported to all relevant organs of the party.
“I believe that the on going politics in the party towards electing a new NWC may have informed the inaccurate publications but I want to state unequivocally that it is based on false ground and cannot influence members of the party because leaders are privy to the correct situation.
“I therefore advice party members not to make the issue of funds and its appropriation a campaign issue in the forthcoming National Convention because it would not fly since no party fund was misappropriated.
“The necessary organs of the party including the NEC, BOT, forum of Governors and National Assembly caucus of our great party sitting in an enlarged caucus of the party are are all aware of the financial position of the party,” he said.
The former Treasurer said it would not be in the interest of the reconciliation and peace being engendered and midwifed by the Ahmed Markarfi led National Caretaker Committee for members to embark on malicious campaign at this time.
“I want to therefore reiterate for umpteenth times that as National Treasurer, and as dedicated by the ethics of my noble profession of accountancy and who was the custodian of the party funds at the time, no party fund was misappropriated or misapplied and therefore should not be an issue at this time when the party is moving towards rebuilding itself for the great challenges ahead.
“Rather the former NWC should be commended for the judicious handling of the party funds and other affairs at the most difficult moment. During this period in question no money apart from money that was internally generated got into the confers of the party.
“It is as a result of this that the party has not been mentioned in the misappropriation of campaign funds. The party was completely sidelined during the Presidential and gubernatorial campaigns, therefore had no access to any funds apart from the one that was internally generated.
“Today we have a party to be proud of because the previous NWC had protected the sanctity of the party by not allowing it to get involved in activities that will put it in the bad light. The party has not been mentioned since the commencement of the investigation into financial misappropriation and misapplication of the last administration.
“This we should all be proud of and credit goes to the previous NWC,” he said.
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