Accord Party, one of the political parties which did not sponsor a presidential candidate for the 2015 elections, has confirmed receiving N100 million from a former chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, Tony Anenih, ahead of the polls.
The party said it got the money through its national leader, Rashidi Ladoja, the party’s governorship candidate in Oyo State.
The party opened up on the payment in a letter to the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu. The letter, dated January 8, was signed by the national secretary of the party, Nureni Adisa.
Mr. Anenih is one of several top politicians accused of receiving payments from a $2.1 billion slush fund, originally meant for the purchase arms for the fight against Boko Haram, but which was allegedly diverted by a former NSA, Sambo Dasuki.
The former PDP BoT chairman reportedly explained to the EFCC that he was not a beneficiary of the sum, but that he was instructed by former President Goodluck Jonathan to release the funds to some political groups for mobilisation and post-election peace advocacy.
He stated in a letter to the EFCC that N100 million was given to the leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Olu Falae, N100 million to the leader of Accord, Mr. Ladoja, and N63 million to a group headed by Tanko Yakassai.
Confirming receipt of the funds, in the letter titled, “Release of One Hundred Million by Chief Tony Anenih”, Mr. Adisa said, “Our attention has been drawn to a newspaper report that the sum of One Hundred Million Naira was released to the ACCORD leader, Senator Rashidi Ladoja by Chief Tony Anenih, the (former) Chairman BoT of the PDP.
“We confirm that the sum of One Hundred Million Naira was given to the party through our leader after series of meetings between the leadership of ACCORD and Chief Tony Anenih in preparation for the 2015 general elections,” said the letter.
He highlighted three issues discussed at the said meetings, which according to the party secretary, led to the release of N100 million to Mr. Ladoja.
“There was need to support the presidential candidate of the PDP since ACCORD had no presidential candidate.
“The need to ensure that peace was maintained to enhance peaceful movement during periods of campaign, elections and after the elections.
“The need for the PDP to support ACCORD campaign effort,” said the letter.
Accordingly, he said Mr. Anenih released N100 million “for these purposes through our leader, Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja”.
“The money released was accordingly used for the purposes as stated above,” Mr. Adisa said.
Messrs. Yakassai and Falae had already confirmed that they received N63 million and N100 million respectively from Mr. Anenih for the purposes specified.
Mr. Falae said the money was “purely” for inter party affairs.
Mr. Falae, who spoke to New Telegraph, explained that “In the build-up to the presidential election, the PDP approached the SDP which I chaired.
“The then ruling party solicited for our support in order for President Goodluck Jonathan to win the March 28 presidential election.
“Anenih related with me as the chairman of the PDP BoT and I did same as the SDP National Chairman.
“He wrote to me as PDP BoT chairman and I wrote back as SDP national chairman stating conditions/terms for the alliance.
“I have the record. It is true that N100 million was given to my party to endorse and work for the Jonathan’s candidature in the 2015 election.
“We used the money for that purpose and we effectively campaigned for the PDP since we did not have presidential candidate in the election. The money was not for me.
“Thank God I’m a retired civil servant. I have all the documents to prove all that transpired between the two parties,” Mr. Falae said.
The former finance minister said there was no way he could know that the money was from arms fund.
“With all the money PDP has and having spent 16 years in power, how would I know that the money was from the arms deal? No reference was made to the arms deal. So, they should not bring me into the arms issue,” he said in the interview.