The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State has raised alarm over an alleged diversion of N4.5b belonging to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to fund the governorship aspiration of All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Timipre Sylva and has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to step in and investigate the matter.
In a statement yesterday, Director of Publicity of the Restoration Campaign Organisation, Jonathan Obuebite, alleged that the said funds were being diverted into Sylva’s campaign and his election arrangement through “illegal” award of contracts to the APC candidate’s cronies by the NDDC.
He alleged that the contracts were given out for “shore protection” in Ekpoma, hometown of the Sylva and Fantuo, a community in Nembe local government area for which he said there was no evidence of any on-going work to warrant the release of the stated sum.
Obuebite stated that the PDP was in possession of the contract documents as proof of its claim and that the party also had it on “good authority” that the said contracts were phantom contracts as conduits to siphon money to fund Sylva’s election.
He was categorical that a disbursement of N1.5b has been made out of the total contract sum of N4.5b being channeled to the APC candidate’s campaign and election purposes.
In a related development, the PDP has also drawn EFCC’s attention to the cries of Niger Delta group of elders who were said to have petitioned the crime-fighting agency over alleged plot by some politicians from the region to divert about N1b accrued to NDDC for the December 5 governorship election in Bayelsa State.
Obuebite, who lamented the meddlesomeness of some key aides of President Muhammadu Buhari as being behind the alleged “slush funds” said using public funds to prosecute the governorship aspiration of an individual because of political party affiliation was corruption and was at variance with the anti-corruption crusade of the president as he urged the EFCC to probe the allegation without further delay.
He stated: “We do not want to join others in mentioning names of the key aides of President Buhari who are directly involved in this dubious scheme. They certainly know themselves. They are friends of Timipre Sylva and they know too well that this level of impunity and corruption cannot go unrewarded. One way or the other they will meet their waterloo. We are calling on the EFCC to move swiftly and investigate this monumental fraud going on in NDDC”.
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