There were indications on Friday that members of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Board of Trustees and the National Working Committee were under fresh investigations over N10bn allegedly disbursed by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s ex-Aide-de-Camp, Col. Ojogbene Adegbe, during the party’s presidential primary.
Our reporter gathered that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had started investigating the PDP’s NWC and BoT members since Thursday when Adegbe was handed over to it by the Nigerian Army.
As of the time of the primary in December 2015, the Chairman of the BoT was Chief Tony Anenih, while the Secretary was Senator Walid Jibril. The party’s National Chairman, who also headed the NWC, was Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu.
It was learnt that the EFCC had been interrogating the former ADC since he was handed over to them on Thursday.
Findings showed that the commission was beaming its searchlight on the PDP chieftains, including NWC and BoT members, who played leading roles during the PDP presidential primary.
According to reports on Friday, the EFCC operatives were interrogating Adegbe on how he allegedly got N10bn. It was also reported that the money was allegedly used to bribe the PDP delegates to adopt Jonathan for second term.
An operative of the commission, who confided in Saturday PUNCH, said, “As of 6pm on Friday, we have not got what we want from the ex-ADC, but based on what he has said so far, we are investigating the PDP’s NWC and BoT members during the period. We are not relying on the ex-ADC alone. We have other ways of investigating.”
When contacted for comment, the EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said he was not aware of any development regarding the investigation.
“I don’t have any update about the case because I am not part of the investigation,” he said.
I am not aware —New BoT chairman
In his reaction to the alleged claims made by the ex-ADC to ex-President Jonathan, the new Chairman of the PDP BoT, Senator Walid Jibrin, simply said, “I am not aware.”
PDP declines comment
The National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh, said it would be unfair for him to comment on what he did not hear directly from the source of the statement.
He said, “It will be unfair to seek my comments on an issue relying solely on what the EFCC said. Is it the same EFCC which claimed that I tore and chewed my own statement?”
Metuh alleged that the commission distorted what transpired in the open court in a statement he sent to media houses in Nigeria.
Military to rejig personnel’s posting
Meanwhile, authorities of the military may rejig the postings of their officers, Saturday PUNCH has learnt.
It was gathered that following the handing over of some officers to the EFCC for investigations, the military would restructure the postings of its personnel.
It was learnt that officers, whose names were forwarded to the EFCC for investigation, had been left without postings.
A senior military source confided in one of our correspondents that the three services of the Armed Forces had not sacked any of the affected officers from work as a result of the ongoing probe.
He added that virtually all of them undergoing probe by the anti-graft agency had been removed from their former positions to ensure that the ongoing probe was transparently carried out without any influence.
The source, however, said because of the arms probe, the military would have to readjust posting of its personnel because of vacancies created by those who had been removed from their posts.
The source said, “There are newspaper reports that some senior officers have been fired as a result of their involvement in the ongoing probe.
“That is not what happened. The fact is that those officers are removed from their former positions as part of the efforts to ensure that the probe is transparently carried out.
“The issue is that they have been placed on standby to await the outcome of the EFCC’s probe.”
The Nigerian Army, on Thursday, said that officers of the service found culpable in the ongoing investigation into the diversion of the funds meant for the procurement of arms under Jonathan would face a military court martial.
But the Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar, said on the telephone on Friday that the issue of making officers culpable was dependent on the decision of the service involved.
He said, “The Army has made its position clear. You see, it all depends on the service concerned; I cannot say for now that the same would apply to all the services.”
The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, in a statement on Thursday night, said that the Army authorities had forwarded the names of 12 Army officers to the EFCC for investigation.
Usman said that the list comprised three serving major generals, one retired, three brigadier generals, four colonels and a lieutenant colonel.
He said, “The Nigerian Army wishes to inform the public that 12 Army officers have been sent to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission for investigation.
“This comprised of three serving major generals, and one retired, three Brigadier Generals, four Colonels and one lieutenant colonel. However, it should be noted that at the end of the commission’s investigations, those found culpable will be tried by a military court martial.”
However, the ranks of the officers forwarded to the EFCC indicated that no former service chief of the Army is under investigation.