N82million Dinner: Rivers PDP slams claim money covered “band, costumes, logistics”

Wole Soyinka [Photo: dailytimes.com.ng]

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers State has described as “hollow and childish”, explanations by a former Rivers State information commissioner, Ibim Semenitari, on how the state spent N82 million for a dinner honouring Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka.

Ms. Semenitari, currently the acting managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, had said on Monday that the money covered specific items of the event.

The money was spent on “Dance Drama by University of Port Harcourt Arts Village; Great Singha & His Highlife Band; Set Design, Stage Lighting & Costume Design; Costume Design & Stage Property; Dinner; Transportation and Accommodation of guests from outside the country and those outside Rivers State; Decoration; Travels & Logistics, etc,” a statement by Beke Anyalewechi, on behalf of Mrs. Semenitari, said, according to PM News.

A statement on Wednesday by Felix Obuah, the Rivers State PDP Chairman, described Mrs. Sementari’s explanation as “hollow, petty and childish”.

The PDP said Mr. Soyinka had allowed his name for a shady event that cost the public huge.

“While we agree that the Nobel Laureate deserves any form of honour in any part of the world, we find it a terrible disservice to Professor Soyinka to use his name to steal public funds,” the statement said.

“She said the N82 million was not used only for the party but that the expenses covered costume design, set design, drama, highlife band, dinner, transportation, decoration and logistics.

“These items should naturally be expected to form an important part of the birthday celebration. If they were left out, what else would make the party a befitting one for a man of the stature of Professor Soyinka?” the PDP asked.

The party also demanded an explanation for the cost of the enumerated expenses, saying the funds expended were taxpayer’s money, and should be accounted for.


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  • Olu from South Africa

    The evil that men do lives after them. If this is true, it’s quite unfortunate. N82 million dinner! when on that very day the dinner was held millions of Nigerians went to their beds with empty stomachs. Eish! O ma sè o o o o.

  • TrueNja

    Fellow compatriot Nigerians, PMB selective anti corruption war is getting out of hand and we must start as a matter of urgency to stop it. Why is it that rogues in the PDP are quick to investigate by the EFCC and prosecute whereas rogues in APC are awarded with government positions. In River state where 90% of its citizens are living in abject poverty, spending N82 million on a birthday bash is ludicrous and must be investigated with urgency like Dasukigate. We should not accept because Prof. Soyinka is involved and the case must be kept under carpet.
    EFCC must also come out now to tell we Nigerians and the global community about the outcome of former Raji Fashola using N78 million naira Lagos state money to build personal website, Ikeja boreholegate, Ikoyi-Lekki bridgegate Lagos state land corruption allegations, former Ekiti state governor Fayemi N58 million bedgate, Osun governor Aregbesola son money laundering, Vice-president Osinbajo’s public school classroom buildings in Oshun state corruption allegations with his company, etc. ..

  • Omotolaaraujo

    I agree with the PDP, but would say that they are worse offenders.

  • Action_Nigeria

    FIGHTING DASUKI IS NOT THE SAME AS FIGHTING CORRUPTION!

  • Burning spear

    Soyinka is a thief–a 419ner——period—There is no two ways about it–he stole from the people of rivers state–because of his love for corruption–he has often aligned himself with the views of thieves like Tinubu ati Buhari in APC-Not knowing he was alos benefitting from the system—These are the Yorubas who sold Jonathan cheap to Obama—as a corrupt individual—who cannot stop boko haram or bring the chibok girls–Now which of these has Buhari done for us–nothing–Busy stealing like Buhari and Tinubu

  • rdeem

    Ex-NIMASA DG Rough Handled by Security Agents. [A MUST WATCH & SHARE]

    Former DG of NIMASA, Mr Patrick Akpobolokemi bundled like a pack of wood by the Nigerian security men after a court session.
    This happened in from of the the Federal High Court, Ikoyi .

    The allegations against him notwithstanding, in Democratic environment, he remains innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law.
    How can a Nigeria be treated like an animal in presence of his lawyers?
    Our Freedoms and Rights at Risk. ‪#‎CHANGE‬

  • abodes_124

    Being a Nigerian [ a wailer not a jubilator] I will make this typical Nigerian post.
    Imagine! 82 million Naira!. The money could have been used to arm our boys so that they would not run away at he first sight of a Boko Haram Fighter. So Wole Soyinka is responsible for the death of our boys who were killed by Boko haram because they did not run away fast enough.

  • Egbokodo andrew jolomi

    PDP is just trying to divert attention.We all know the social status of Wole Soyinka.They should explain to us why 2.1 billion dollars met for arms purchase was diverted for political campaigns.We have not even come to oil deals

    • Action_Nigeria

      Foool …. there is nothing like $2,1Billion meant for arms purchase.

      Please read and educate your gullible mind:

      Buhari set up a panel to investigate purchase of arms and defence spending from 2007 to 2014. Dasuki was
      appointed NSA on June 22, 2012. He held that position till July 2015 when Buhari removed him and immediately launched a witch hunt using the DSS. They first began with laying a siege on Dasuki’s house. In the end, the DSS came out with a press statement that they found seven rifles, amoured SUVs, and $50,000 in Dasuki’s house and threatened to charge him for treasonable felony suggesting that Dasuki was planning to topple the Buhari government with the seven rifles.

      The matter ended in court where Dasuki was charged for possessing firearms without a license. The judge granted Dasuki bail on his personal recognition. That surely didn’t go down well with Buhari. So the government requested a secret trial for Dasuki. The Sokoto Prince kicked against a secret trial and requested permission from the court to travel abroad for treatment of cancer.

      Buhari felt that if the court order was obeyed, his image as an emperor fighting corruption would be tarnished.
      The tyrant in him came to life. He sent the DSS to lay a siege on Dasuki’s house. The siege was on for three weeks. He then used that time to manufacture the $2.1 billion arms fraud or scam to cover up his lawlessness, given that there was a human rights abuse outcry against his government.

      So, where did the figure come from?

      Buhari’s panel submitted a report saying it found that the NSA’s office had been allocated $2.1 billion for the period under review. What is the period under review? 2007 – 2014. Whereas, Dasuki was NSA for 18 months for the period under review. So there you have it. That is where the media has been saying that $2.1 billion arms money was diverted.

      Note that neither Buhari, the DSS, the EFCC have officially declared the existence of a $2.1 billion arms money
      diverted. Buhari went on TV growling over “How can a president ask [Dasuki] to withdraw N40 billion and you do it?” The EFCC has not mentioned any arms money or diversion of it in their charges against Dasuki, Dokpesi or anyone else.

      So, where did the monies being mentioned come from? They are talking about money allocated to the SECURITY VOTE for the NSA’s office and for the President. The security vote money is not for arms purchases. That is why the EFCC has not charged Dasuki for diversion of arms funds. Because they would lose woefully.

      Another interesting fact. Of the $2.1 billion, $300 million was specifically allocated for the purchase of arms. And Dasuki has issued a statement explaining what arms were bought and how the Nigerian arms forces took delivery of the equipment, arms, and ammunition. Ironically the $300 million is from the Abacha loot recovered by the Jonathan administration.

      • OdeyPeter Odo

        So you can not make this your statement without calling someone names?

      • concernednigerian

        Interesting. Sir, we should hear more from people like you. I have always had my doubts about the wisdom of using the media in place of the judiciary to pronounce someone guilty of wrongdoing.

    • Wise Head

      We are already dealing with the arms purchase scandal. We must deal with is too. The former does not invalidate the later

  • Burning Spear

    Soyinka is a thief–period—There is no two ways about it–he stole from the people of rivers state–because of his love for corruption–he has often aligned himself with the SATANIC views of thieves like Tinubu ati Buhari in APC—-These are the types of things that they indulged in under the cover of darkness——————Soyinka in his right senses should have said no—and gone on to -share a cup of tea like his counterpars do abroad—–But a Yoruba rogue like Soynka. would always want to be elogized as the founder of Nigeria–and all the oil wells in the south south given to him–Soyinka could not even raise his voice for his friend–Dr. Beko Ramsone Kuti–whose son General Kuti is in jail for organizing his birth day party in the Fulani North

    • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

      Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti was actually thief Soyinka’s first cousin.

  • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

    “Dinner Laureate” Wole Soyinka is a disgrace and an embarrassment.

  • Bejim

    The irony is unmistakable. Whether it is the party then (birthday or political) or the investigations now (Rivers or national anti-corruption), a consistent strain of hypocrisy is perceptible. So is the conspiracy of the societal elite in the expropriation of ordinary Nigerians.

  • North/West Allies

    82 million dinner for Soyinka, for what reason? There are more than a million poor people that the 82 million will do lot of good. Poor people are hungry while the governor lavished millions for birthday dinner, this is wickedness. 5 million naira will host the best birthday…82 million is damn too much. Please Amaechi or Soyinka should return the money it belong to the people of River’s not these two hypocrites

  • Kingsley

    It baffles me a lot when I read on national dailies how our leaders languish our wealth on things that are uncalled for. Yet we talk about fighting corruption. God help us

  • Kkisokay

    EDITOR SIR,

    This newsreport makes no sense to anyone as written – no sense at all – the writer is too careless.
    The headline suggests a rebuttal but no particulars of the rebuttal were reported in the main report.
    What sort of journalism is that? It would have been much better if the page had been left blank.

  • Sir Louis

    Soyinka has case to answer.

  • Damilola

    Foolishness following the steps of the gods in Aso Rock . Why have we descended so low to ineptitudeness in this Nation? Is the media now a space to exchange accusations and claims for justice?

  • efada acha

    I thought by now Soyinka and mrs seminatari should be arrested and interrogated rather the woman has been given nndc appointment.