Elder Statesman, Tanko Yakasai Wednesday confirmed that Chief Tony Anenih gave him and 8 other prominent northerners N53 million for advocacy visit to northern traditional rulers to mobilised their subjects for hitch free 2015 general election.
Elombah.com had reported that Former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BOT) chair Tony Anenih wrote to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to explain how he disbursed the N260 million paid into his bank account from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
EFCC believes the cash came from the allegedly misappropriated $2.1 billion arms funds.
Anenih wrote to the EFCC to state, among others, that he gave N63 million to a group coordinated by a former Special Assistant to former President Shehu Shagari (National Assembly Liaison), Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, for the 2015 presidential election.
Yakassai may be invited for interrogation over the “curious” payment, it was learnt yesterday. Anenih was said to have told EFCC that he didn’t benefit from the money, but that he only shared it, following instructions.
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Yakasai in an exclusive chat with Vanguard said that “yes, myself and 8 others collected N53m from chief Tony Anenih to pay advocacy visit to prominent northern emirs to mobilised their subjects for a hitch free 2015 general elections”.
The former President Shehu Shagari Special Adviser stated that the development followed a request by the PDP stalwart to make available to him list of “9 apolitical but respected individuals from the north”.
He declared that the N53m disbursed to his team by the Benin High Chief catered for the group’s members allowances, transportation and hotels accommodation on a tour that took them to 18 states in the north.
Yakasai who vehemently denied link between the fund and campaigns for former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, listed former minister of state, foreign Affairs, Alhaji Mamman Anka, Barrister Bitrus Gwada and Alhaji Suleiman Lawal as beneficiaries of the money.
Other beneficiaries includes, Dr Bahago, Chief John Macklink from Plateau, and Senator Sodangi.
Yakasai had last week denied ever rrcieving financial patronage from Jonathan administration during a star interview with Vanguard.
The former political aide to second Republic NPN President had in the interview said “I want to make it categorically clear that no officials of the last regime either Mr. Jonathan, his lieutenant, agents, contractors or person having links or relationship with the last administration gave me cash on behalf of that regime for a reason.”
Yakasai, who celebrated his 90th birthday last year disclosed that they visited the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, emir of Kano, Malam Muhammadu Sanusi II, the emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris and the emir of Gwandu.
The list of other first class chief visited by Yakasai’s team also includes, The emir of Anka, emir of Ilorin, emir of Nassarawa, Minnie, Bauchi, Zuru, Kebbi, Katsina, Dutse, Hadejia and representatives of emir of Daurawa.
Other prominent rulers visited further includes, The Tor Tiv, the Gwom Gbom Jos, Ohimege Igu, Kotonkarfe, Etsu of Abaji, Etsu Nupe and Atta Igala.
Yakasai further revealed that his team were rescued from Gombe while on scheduled visit to the Emir when insurgents attack the city.
The Elder Statesman said “I want to make it abundantly clear that I didn’t received money from Chief Anenih in my private capacity as Tanko Yakasai but to a patriotic individuals who are interested in the peaceful coexistence of the polity”.