LIB reported earlier that some members of the NWC, 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, returned the money, claiming it was paid into their account without their knowledge.
Debo Ologunagba, the party’s national publicity secretary who reacted to the controversy on Friday September 30, said the money was the NWC members’ housing allowance.
“The attention of the national working committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been drawn to misrepresenting reports in a section of the media alluding strange and unfounded motives to the housing allowance duly approved and paid to NWC members and staff of the party.
“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.
“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.
“To set the record straight, 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 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).”
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