A Chieftain of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party [PDP], Prince Kassim Afegbua has on Wednesday raised the alarm that he has been receiving many threat calls since he dragged the leadership of his party before the anti-graft agencies over alleged misappropriation of party funds.
Afegbua on Monday stormed the offices of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to probe the party’s leadership to submit his petition and asked them to look into the financial transactions of the PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, in the spirit of transparency, accountability, and book-keeping, in line with the existing anti-corruption laws.
Afegbua, a former spokesman for the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, alleged that much of the financial transactions of the PDP under its present leadership have been shrouded in mystery and accused the leadership of a deliberate attempt to short-change the party in the build-up to the 2023 general elections.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, the ex- Edo state commissioner for information and Okpella Prince said despite denials by the PDP he stood by his claims that PDP generated N10bn from the sales of forms during the 2019 general elections.
Afegbua, who said he would pursue the petition to a logical conclusion, said should EFCC and ICPC delay their investigations, he would apply for an order of mandamus to compel them to take appropriate action.
He added that he cannot be distracted by the response of the PDP publicist, Mr Kola Ologbodiyan who he described to have engaged in “a show of intellectual hollowness while committing the philosophical offence of argumentum ad hominem, left the substance of my message to attacking my person.”
The statement read in full:
As a concerned Citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who has advocated for the emancipation of the rule of law and democracy in different forums, I feel much obliged to stress the importance of transparency, openness, accountability and probity in the management of public finances by persons appointed or elected to represent any public institution.
Since Monday, 26th April, when I submitted a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission-EFCC- and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission-ICPC-, I have been inundated with several telephone calls by party chieftains, pundits and lackeys alike with a mixed grill.
While majority of those callers are commending my boldresolve at ensuring transparency in the management of the finances of the Peoples’ Democratic Party-PDP-, a handful of others tried to subtly intimidate me with threats alarm.
Let us be clear on a point, my position remains the same: I will follow through this present request to a logical conclusion to serve as a worthy caution note to those aspiring to occupy party positions.
In response to my inquisition and plea to the EFCC and ICPC, the PDP publicist, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a show of intellectual hollowness while committing the philosophical offence of argumentum ad hominem, left the substance of my message to attacking my person. He tried to distract the public by giving a pass-mark to the leadership of the PDP and a clean bill of health.
I did not ask the PDP to give me its concocted audited report or a balance sheet that would seem to suggest that all is well. I have simply asked the anti-graft agencies to look into the records of book-keeping with respect to the resources that have accrued, to find out if the leadership had followed standard procedure of accounting practice.
Without fear of contradiction, I am aware that the party’s leadership has been involved in money laundering for failure to follow what the law prescribes. Having consulted with my Lawyers, I wish to state more emphatically that any monetary transaction that is above the threshold of N10m naira, must pass through financial institution for ease of tracing and monitoring. And such bank account must be the ones owned by the party, and not that of persons or group of persons that purport to act on behalf of the party.
Despite denials by the party’s publicist, I still stand on my initial figure of N10b naira being money generated from sales of forms for Presidential, Gubernatorial, Senatorial, House of Representatives and Houses of Assembly elections in 2019 as well as donations. For saying that the party realised N4.6b as opposed to N10b means that we are making progress.
The leadership only needs to volunteer the EFCC and ICPC such information, once the investigation begins, to assist the agencies to arrive at a holistic conclusion. I am calling on the EFCC and ICPC to take judicious note on the following account numbers and companies, which were allegedly used as conduit to launder money against the run of play.
1. MORUFU NIGERIA LIMITED.
2. RETROBOX NIGERIA LIMITED
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 0019723825,
3. ABDULLAHI KABIRU,
The above companies need to be properly scrutinized by the anti-graft agencies to establish the role they play in the financial flow of PDP finances, with respect to sale of nomination forms during the last general elections in 2019. I am sure the persons involved would be able to volunteer information required to properly situate the meat of the matter before the EFCC and ICPC.
Aside from the open threat by one Kola Ologbondiyanduring my appearance on AIT’s Democracy Today programme on Tuesday, 20th April, where he stated that “we will deal with you”, I have also been receiving threat calls from unknown persons. I have respectfully instructed my Lawyers, Kayode Ajulo & Co. Castle of Law, to petition the Inspector General of Police, on this very serious threat, especially in a country that is replete with murder, assassination and blood-letting. My resolve to pursue this petition to a logical conclusion is unequivocal. I will neither submit to blackmail, intimidation, harassment, nor deliberate threat for whatever purpose.
The content of my petition is very clear and unambiguous. We must continue to strive for an egalitarian society where citizens retain the inalienable right to interrogate their leaders and other processes leading to certain outcome. It is my considered position that the leadership of the PDP has flouted the provisions of the Money Laundering Act. Any money beyond the threshold of N10m naira, ought to be paid or transacted through bank account of the party and not through private account of cronies and persons who were dubiously recruited as Consultants and acting for and on behalf of the PDP. This is a flagrant violation of the existing laws of the land. And the EFCC and ICPC must unearth the details.
I still stand by my claim of almost N10b naira, being monies that accrued to the party and never passed through the designated bank accounts of the party. Rather than call me unprintable names, I expected the leadership of the PDP to take a trip to the EFCC and ICPC to volunteer information that will enrich the investigation. Its present effort to distract the public by sheer blackmail or trying to pooh-pooh the seriousness of these allegations will amount to a handshake beyond the elbow.
This present effort will help invest a vista of hope in trying to redefine, reposition and refocus the party as a veritable and viable opposition that is ready to confront the challenges facing us as a country. The apparent slumbering of the party leadership, from inertia to incapacity, in the face of crippling policy flip flop of the present government, presents an intolerable vacuum that must be condemned by all. Let me add that I am still a bonafide member of the PDP.
In conclusion, should the EFCC and ICPC delay in carrying out this investigation, I will have no other option than to apply for an order of mandamus to compel them to take the appropriate action.
Thank you all for your attention.
PRINCE KASSIM AFEGBUA.
MEMBER, PDP WARD 5,
OKPELLA, EDO STATE.