House Leadership: PDP BOT challenges Wike to prove corruption allegation

Governor Nyesom Wike
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike Photo:

A leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has challenged Governor Nyesom Wike to provide evidence of his corruption allegations against some of the party’s leaders.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how Mr Wike, governor of oil-rich Rivers State, accused a committee set up by the PDP Board of Trustees of corruption.

The committee was set up to resolve the House of Representatives’ minority leadership crisis. The members of the committee include three former senate presidents and other former lawmakers.

Members of the committee are three former senate presidents, Iyocha Ayu, David Mark, and Adolphus Wabara; a former deputy senate president, Ibrahim Mantu; and former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Austin Opara.

Mr Opara, however, pulled out of the committee before it turned in its report, Mr Wike said.

In his reaction to Mr Wike’s allegation, the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Walid Jibrin, challenged Mr Wike to present evidence of the corruption he alleged.

Mr Wike had accused the committee members of monumental corruption, warning the party, not to “toy” with the interest of Rivers State.

The BOT had mandated the committee to look into the minority leadership crisis that has rocked the PDP caucus in the House of Representatives.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, announced Ndudi Elumelu as Minority Leader, against the choice of Kingsley Chinda, who had been nominated for the position by the PDP.

Mr Chinda is the member representing Obio-Akpor federal constituency, Mr Wike’s constituency, in the House of Representatives.

The speaker also announced Toby Okechukwu (Enugu) as Deputy Minority Leader, Gideon Gwani as Minority Whip and Adesegun Adekoya as Deputy Minority Whip.

The PDP had nominated Chukwuka Onyema as Deputy Minority Leader, Yakubu Barde as Minority Whip and Muraina Ajibola as Deputy Minority Whip.

The announcement of a different set of lawmakers divided the parliament at that time with members breaking into a fight.

This led to the suspension of members of the Elumelu-led leadership by the party.

But reacting to Mr Wike’s allegation, The Nation reported that the chairman of the BoT, Mr Jubril, said the mere submission of a report by the committee did not imply a clean bill of health for Mr Elumelu and other House members who turned against the party’s choice.

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He also challenged any member of the party with proof of allegations against any member of the committee to speak out instead of casting aspersions on the members.

Mr Jibrin said the BoT will meet on Thursday next week to deliberate on the committee’s report.

“I will not condemn any member of the committee without any proof of evidence of corruption. I challenge anybody anywhere to provide proof of the allegations of corruption.

“He who alleges must show evidence of corruption. It is not enough to accuse anyone of any wrongdoing. I call on anyone; party members and non-party members, to come forward with evidence of corruption and you will see what the BoT will do”.

He also denied knowledge of Mr Opara’s withdrawal from the committee.

“We are not aware of the withdrawal of anybody because we have not sat yet.

“We will consider the committee report at our next meeting on Thursday,” he said.

Mr Jibrin urged aggrieved party members to take advantage of the existing internal conflict resolution mechanism to table their grievances, instead of spreading unfounded allegations.

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