The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has confirmed the payment of money to some members of its National Working Committee.
The statement is in reaction to the refund of over N120 million by four members of the NWC. They said it became necessary to return the money after a backlash from the media accusing them of taking bribes.
On Thursday, some NWC members announced the refund of different amounts sent to their bank accounts by the party’s leadership.
The affected members include Taofeek Arapaja, deputy national chairman, south; Dan Osi Orbih, national vice chairman, south-south; Stella Effah-Atoe, national women leader; and Olasoji Adagunodo, national vice chairman, south-west.
In different statements, they claimed that the party erroneously paid the said amounts into their accounts without stating the purpose.
In a statement on Friday, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, described reports about the money in some sections of the media as “unfounded”.
“The NWC has noted that this misleading report stemmed from an unfounded publication by a particular media outlet which suggested that the Housing Allowance, an entitlement duly approved and paid to national officials and staff of the Party amounted to bribery,” the statement added.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the PDP states in an unequivocal term that no funds were paid into the account of any member of the NWC as a bribe for any purpose whatsoever for that matter.”
The PDP chieftain explained that “the Housing Allowance being referred to went through the Due Process of the Party in line with the Conditions of Service and Entitlement of the Staff and Principal Officers of the Party.
“If any individual, for any reason decides to return money duly approved and paid, such does not in any way suggest that the money was paid as a bribe or indicate that it was illegitimate or unlawfully paid.
“A bribe is defined as ‘money or any other valuable consideration given or promised with a view to corrupting the behavior of a person, especially in that person’s performance as a public official…’. This is not the case in the payment of Housing Allowance duly approved for officials and staff of the Party.
“The PDP, therefore, urges all members, teeming supporters, and the general public to disregard the report and misleading insinuation which are clearly designed to malign the PDP, cause disaffection, and distract our Party from our mission to Rescue, Rebuild and Redirect our nation from the misrule of the All Progressives Congress (APC).”