The PDP still absorbing the shock of having lost the bid for re-election after 16 years in power has made a troubling discovery: billions of Naira disappeared from its campaign treasury.
By Victoria Ayuwei and Stephen Onyeukwu, Per Second News
Two members of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organization, (PCO) Nenadi Usman and Chief Ahmadu Ali, are likely to be charged soon in a campaign fund scandal that threatens to engulf politicians in the opposition party.
Top leaders of the party seems to have disowned the duo in a matter before Justice C.U Ndukwe at the Abuja high court, Per Second News gathered.
Investigations reveal that former minister of finance, Nenadi Usman, through her company, Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Limited received over 10 billion Naira meant for contractors and vendors during the 2015 presidential campaign.
Usman, who was the director of finance for the campaign has been accused of refusing to pay contractors who are now protesting against unpaid debts estimated at over N2 billion.
The scandals rocking the PDP are hard to sort through, and as often the case, what appears scandalous on the surface hides even deeper malfeasance.
A source in the know speaking under the condition of anonymity said that “Usman used her corporate account to receive billions of Naira, and disbursed billions of Naira to several persons and companies with overwhelming ties to the PDP”.
“ She orchestrated this fraud in order to circumvent campaign donation limit threshold, with most of the disbursements paid to herself through her personal aide, PDP stalwarts, and companies with ties to PDP and herself, the source said.
PDP through its counsel Kwon Victor, who is also the party’s Legal Adviser, had on 18 June 2015, in defense to a lawsuit against Nenadi Usman, Ahmadu Ali and PDP, disowned Usman in PDP campaign-related transactions allegedly carried out with her company, Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Limited.
Evidence made available showed Usman, through her company, received and disbursed about N10 billion Naira in the run up to the presidential election and after the defeat of Goodluck Jonathan.
A contractor Silon Concepts limited through its lawyers, Festus Keyamo chambers in suit no: FCT/HC/CV/2017/2015 took Nenadi Usman, PDP and Ahmadu Ali to court in a bid to get paid for contract executed.
Ahmadu Ali and Nenadi Usman are yet to file any defense to state their side of the story. Rather, the former minister of finance filed a notice of preliminary objection on 3rd July 2015, where she struggled to rope PDP into several multi billion Naira transactions carried out through her company Jointrust Dimentions Nig.Ltd.
Per Second News gathered that PDP again, for the second time in a counter affidavit on 15th July, 2015, strongly objected to Usman’s position by rejecting ties to all multibillion Naira transactions carried out through Jointrust Dimentions Nig. Ltd where she is the sole signatory to that account. PDP insists that Usman and others acted alone on matters brought up by Silon Concepts Ltd.
As PDP and Nenadi Usman fights dirty, rather than address why they have not paid Silon Concepts limited, Festus Keyamo chambers has filed a counter affidavit on 23rd July 2015, with strong arguments on why Nenadi Usman is personally liable as a known agent of the PDP.
Keyamo argued that it is only appropriate for Nenadi Usman, who operated mostly as a lone ranger through her private account, to tell the court her side of the story. Per Second News gathered that she operated from a Zenith Bank Account number 10107406XX, (Last two numbers blocked by Per Second News for privacy concern).
In a twist, George Uboh, Managing Director of Panic Alert Security Systems (PASS) has called for the immediate arrest and prosecution of Senator Nenadi Usman, Femi Fani-Kayode, Chief Emeka Offor and others. In a statement in Abuja Thursday Uboh said he has been monitoring a case of unpaid campaign debt against PDP, Ahmadu Alli and Nenadi Usman by Silon Concepts limited. Uboh said that as he observes with dismay how PDP and Nenadi Usman dissipate their energies by washing their dirty linens in public rather than pay what they owe the legitimate contractor for a job duly contracted.
He claimed to have obtained all relevant bank documents in relation to transactions done by Usman using Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Limited.
Below are some deposits into the account for purpose of financing President Jonathan’s election: N500 million on 11/02/15, Global Scan Systems Nigeria Limited, owned by Sir Emeka Offor, Offshore Logistics Solutions, N 202million on 11/02/15;Global Scan Systems Nigeria Limited (owned by Emeka Offor), N1.2Billion Naira on 11/02/15;Interbridge Company, N100million on 11/02/15Castilo towers BDC, N250million Naira on 11/02/15, Interbridge company, N122 million on 01/02/15, Prime concept, N110million on 20/02/15Eco system, N500 million on 13/02/15, DI International, N250m on 19/02/15, Crescent Pillars Ltd, N 21million on 19/02/15”.
He also listed payments from the Jointrust Dimentions as follows;
N1.1Billion to Femi Fani Kayode on 02/02/15, another N240million naira to Femi Fani Kayode on 19/03/15, N67m to Dee Bakers Ltd on 03/02/15, N95million to Rigir First BDC on 03/02/15, N370m to Goodluck Support Group on 23/03/15, N80m to People’s Democratic Institute on 10/03/15, N260m to Social Capital Limited on 27/02/15, N250m to Social Capital Limited on 03/02/15, N80m to Fendship Express Nig Ltd on 13/01/15, N120m to Achike Udenwa & Viola Onwuliri on 13/01/15, 10m to Ibitoru Linda Ofili, on 13/01/15.
Uboh, alleged that after the March 28 elections, Nenadi Usman started disbursing money in the account to herself through cronies and other PDP PCO members, but stubbornly refused to pay legitimate contractors in full for jobs done.
According to him Usman issued cheques to one of her cronies in multiples of N10, 000,000 in one day in the manner below:
On April 20, 2015, Usman cashed seven of separate 10 million Naira cheques, to wit: Cheque numbers 398-404 (10,000,000 each).
On April 22, 2015, Usman cashed four of separate 10 million Naira cheques, to wit: Cheque numbers 410-413 (10,000,000 each).
He said it was wrong and illegal for Usman to use her corporate account to receive and disburse campaign funds on behalf of PDP.He asked: “why did she refuse to use the PDP PCO account to receive and disburse the aforementioned billions, when the evidence shows that she was signatory to both accounts in same Zenith Bank?”
“why was Fani-Kayode paid N1.34 billion Naira in his personal capacity from Usman’s corporate account? Is this payment campaign related? If it is campaign-related, is it legal to accept such in one’s personal capacity and, worse yet, from a corporate account instead of campaign organization account?
“Why did Emeka Offor and his company pay N2.2Billion Naira into Usman’s corporate account? Was it for election purpose or Usman’s personal use? Is it ethical to pay campaign funds into a corporate account? Are we sure these guys did not circumvent extant campaign donations laws in their desperation to win last presidential election?
“Why would a distinguished senator and former finance minister of the Federal republic of Nigeria, who by virtue of her former position should be held to a high standard of ethics and financial propriety, commit such a hoodlum-like and hustler-like financial impropriety?”, Uboh queried.
Per Second News can authoritatively reveal that the campaign fund complaint has reached President Goodluck Jonathan, who was shocked that money has not been paid to contractors, despite overwhelming evidence that it has been released to the PDPPCO.
“President Goodluck Jonathan is not happy, the man is embarrassed because he also gave money to the PDPPCO and yet he is hearing these stories about debts running into billions of Naira, a close aide said Thursday night in Abuja.