Ahead of the December 9 national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), more facts emerged yesterday on how N11 billion generated by a former National Chairman, Adamu Muazu, was shared by the former National Working Committee (NWC).
It was also revealed that about N730million was inherited by the sacked National Chairman of PDP, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff.
But the party’s former National Treasurer, Dr. Buhari Bala, yesterday said no party fund was misappropriated or misapplied.
He advised party members not to make funds appropriation a campaign issue at the National Convention.
He said the necessary organs of the party, including the National Executive Committee (NEC), Board of Trustees (BoT), forum of governors and National Assembly Caucus were all aware of the financial position of the party.
According to a document obtained by our correspondent, the Muazu administration generated about N11billion (not N9billion earlier reported) from nomination forms for the 2015 general elections.
The document indicated that in line with the constitution of the party, all candidates for the 2015 poll were assisted by the party from the cash haul.
About 30 per cent of the money was allocated to state and local government chapters of PDP nationwide.
A top party leader said: “We actually generated over N11billion from the nomination forms for 2015 general elections during the tenure of the former National Chairman of the party, Alh. Adamu Muazu. Since no campaign funds came from either the Presidency or the Presidential Campaign Organization of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, the party only relied on what it realised.
“About 30 per cent was allocated to state and local government chapters for the 2015 elections. All candidates of the party were also assisted out of the cash by the party.
“Liabilities arising from the 2015 general elections were also paid by the party because immediately we lost the poll, the Presidency was no longer there for the party. Many leaders and members of the party were paid allowances from the cash.
“The good thing is that all the payment vouchers were duly signed by all party leaders, candidates and those who rendered services to PDP in one form or the other.
“Out of the cash, only about N500million was spent by the party when Prince Uche Secondus was the acting national chairman of PDP.
“And by the time Sheriff took over as the national chairman, he inherited about N730million to run the party.
“The highlights of the expenses are contained in the Audited Report which has been presented to all the organs of the party and relevant caucuses. And they were all satisfied with the report.
“A team from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) also audited the accounts of the party without raising issues.”
Responding to a question, the source added: “Many leaders benefited from the cash and the national convention delegates are free to raise issues and we will present the audited report.”
Former National Treasurer Bala yesterday said no money was missing.
Bala in a statement in Abuja, asked delegates to the national convention “not to make the N11billion a campaign issue because it would not fly”.
The statement 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 N9b 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.
“If the media house was not in a hurry to achieve a purpose it would have tried to ask the appropriate channel for explanation as the party’s audited report during the period under review was available.
“An accounting audit firm audited the accounts of the party and expressed their opinion on the accounts.
“The 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 ongoing 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 advise 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 all aware of the financial position of the party.
“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 the umpteenth time that as National Treasurer, and as dictated 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 coffers 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.”