Olusola Fabiyi and Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja
The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Uche Secondus, allegedly received N250m from the Office of the National Security Adviser under the leadership of the embattled former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), an Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s report has said.
The report, which was sighted by one of our correspondents, stated that Secondus allegedly received the money during the build-up to the 2015 general elections.
Secondus, who was the Deputy Chairman (South) of the PDP at the time, allegedly collected the money for ‘special duties.’
The report partly read, “Uche Secondus received N200m in cash from the ONSA with voucher 0244. His Special Adviser, one Chukwurah, signed for the money on his behalf on February 2, 2015. Earlier, he had collected N50m which was personally received by him on November 7, 2014.
“The funds were approved by Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.) for unknown reasons but were merely referred to as ‘special duties.’”
The report also accused Secondus and erstwhile Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, as well as the lawmaker representing Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial District, Senator Bassey Akpan, of receiving vehicles worth about N1.1bn from Babajide Omokore, an oil magnate standing trial before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
According to the report, the vehicles which ranged from Mercedes Benz luxury cars to campaign buses and trucks were bought with the proceeds of fraud.
The report added, “Adamu Mu’azu received vehicles worth N504, 500, 000 including a Benz G63 worth N45m between May and August 2014.
“Secondus received vehicles worth N310m. On June 28, 2013, he received a Benz G63 worth N36m; on April 8, 2014, he received two Toyota Hilux vehicles worth N14m. On July 8, 2014, he received 10 Hiace buses worth N90m while on November 13, 2014, he received 15 Hiace mid-roof buses worth N120m. He also received a N50m Range Rover Biography SUV.”
The report accused Senator Bassey Akpan of receiving vehicles worth N303m from Omokore while he was the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Finance as well as the Chairman of the Inter-ministerial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee whose job was to ensure that government projects were completed using direct labour approach to save some money for the state.
Two of Omokore’s companies – Bay Atlantic Energy and Sahel Energy – were said to have received contracts from the committee headed by Akpan.
The report added, “Senator Bassey Akpan received a BMW X5 BP worth N50m; an Infinity QX56BP worth N45m; a Range Rover worth N40m; three Toyota Hiace buses worth N27m; two Toyota Hiace High-roof buses worth N16m, six Toyota Hilux D cabin vehicles worth N42m as well as other vehicles worth N83m.
“He received the vehicles from Omokore while heading a committee which was giving contracts to the same Omokore.
“He has been invited on several occasions but he has refused to show up. He was supposed to come to the EFCC office on Monday (yesterday) but he refused to come.”
But Secondus has described the claim by the anti-graft agency as a blackmail and a continuation of what he described as media trial.
He said there were plans to blackmail and discredit the main opposition party and its leadership.
He however said the plan would not work.
Secondus, who spoke through his media aide, Mr. Ike Abonyi, asked the agency or anyone with proof of the allegations to come to court.
Abonyi said, “Secondus is already in court on this matter and that is all. It is a continuation of media trial and blackmail.
“He has said he did not collect any money and he had challenged anyone with contrary proof to meet him in court and testify against him.
“There’s no need to be talking about a case pending in court in the newspapers. If the government has anything to say, they should file it before the court as demanded.”
Also speaking, Secondus told one of our correspondents that he knew that the government would not stop at anything to tarnish his image.
But he said that the move would fail.
He challenged the government to come out with the vouchers with which he was said to have signed, adding that such signature would also be subjected to forensic analysis.
He said, “I never collected any money from anywhere. I didn’t ask anyone to collect money for me as well and I didn’t sign any voucher to collect any money.
“It is pure blackmail which will never work. I have gone to court and I expect them to challenge me in court and come and testify against me.
“If they are cooking up anything, with the aim of blackmailing me, it will fail. I know that the task of uprooting this non-performing government would be horrendous. But God is always on the side of the people.”
Attempts to speak with Akpan proved abortive as he could not be reached for his reaction to the allegation as his telephone line indicated that it was off when it was called on Monday night. He had yet to reply a text message sent to him as of the time this report was filed.
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