•Disputed cash blown by party officials in nine months
Ahead of the National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), there is fresh tension in the party over the whereabouts of about N9billion left by a former National Chairman of the party, ex-Governor Adamu Muazu.
All the organs of the party are poised to join issues with some members of the outgoing National Working Committee (NWC) including some aspirants seeking a return to PDP’s cabinet.
It was learnt that the fate of the returnee aspirants might be determined by the extent to which they could account for the N9billion.
About N500million, which was traced to Skye Bank, was shrouded in crisis as at the time of filing this report.
But there were strong indications that the cash was allegedly squandered within nine months before the sacked National Chairman of the party, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff came on board.
But aggrieved party members have been prevailing on PDP leaders to allow the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to step into the row over the cash.
According to investigation by our correspondent, Muazu allegedly left N9billion in PDP’s account before stepping aside as the National Chairman of the party.
Muazu, who was in the US for medical treatment, had resigned as the chairman on May 20, 2015.
In a letter to the party, Muazu attributed his resignation to the abysmal performance of the party in the 2015 general elections.
He said it was necessary for him to leave and for peace to reign in the party.
But more than two years after he quit, there are issues on the alleged N9billion inherited from him.
It was unclear if the cash legitimately earned from members or part of the poll bribery sum which a former minister splashed on the party or presidential largesse.
Findings however confirmed that all the organs, caucuses, ex-governors, ex-ministers and leaders of the party are angry over the whereabouts of the money which was in the party’s purse after the 2015 poll.
A former governor, who spoke in confidence, said: “No one has been able to tell us the whereabouts of the cash. PDP members were even kept in the dark on the lump sum in the party’s account.
“About N500million out of the N9billion is trapped in Skye Bank due to undisclosed reasons.
“The former NWC cannot sweep this cash under the carpet. All those in the past NWC must tell us what they blew N9b on .This is also why we do not want any of them to come back to lead the party until every Kobo is accounted for.”
A member of the Board of Trustees (BOT) said: “The sacked National Chairman, Sen. Sheriff virtually inherited empty treasury. Muazu left the party on May 20, 2015 and Sheriff came on board on February 17, 2016.”
“This December 9 national convention wants to know what the party procured to have spent such huge cash after the general elections within nine months.
“The whereabouts of the cash will shape the elections at our convention. This is the hard truth we are seeking but which some serving governors would like to cover up by imposing candidates.
“Those who seek to lead us must be accountable to the party. It is really unfortunate that some governors are pushing for business as usual.”
A former governor said: “We want our cash back, all former NWC members must render account and locate the huge cash before seeking out votes.
“Some of us will like the EFCC to step into this cash palaver and arrest those implicated.”
A key member of the defunct NWC said: “The party’s former National Treasurer is in a position to give the breakdown of how the said money was spent and disbursed.
“We also ensured that our account was audited by a competent firm. Whoever is seeking explanation on the cash should get a copy of the audit report.
“This cash issue was raised at the meetings of all organs and caucuses including the National Assembly Caucus and the same details were given.
“PDP members should ignore plot by some leaders, ex-governors, ex-ministers and some disgruntled elements to employ blackmail to fight proxy battle at the convention.”
Asked what the money was used for, another NWC member simply added: “Logistics of PDP, I won’t say more than this. No money was stolen. Go and ask the former National Treasurer.”
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