*Your claim unwarranted — APC
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, alleged that top government officials are keeping “stolen money” in a special pool to prosecute President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term bid.
But the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had condemned the allegation and tasked PDP to provide proof.
The PDP specifically alleged that the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, and the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, were involved.
Addressing a news conference at the Wadata Plaza in Abuja, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, demanded that Buhari should prove them wrong by giving an order to the anti-graft agencies to immediately launch investigation into the $25bn scandal involving Baru in the NNPC.
The PDP also demanded that Baru be suspended while others, who might have participated in the alleged “illegal act”, be investigated.
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, had in a letter to Buhari, accused Baru of illegal practices in the NNPC and insubordination.
The PDP said it suspected that powerful people in the corridors of power were “tacitly involved in the scandal rocking the NNPC.”
Adeyeye said, “If the president’s powerful Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, could sit on the NNPC board and such a calamity is taking place without an eyelid being blinked, we are forced to believe that the stealing is being done to the advantage of the president who has shown by his body language, that the only thing that matters most to him for now, is his second term ambition.
”Will it be considered a hate speech if we say the money being stolen by President Buhari is being kept aside into a special pool for the prosecution of his second term ambition?
“We challenge the president to prove us wrong by allowing his allies being caught up in acts of brazen stealing of our commonwealth get punished in accordance with the laws of the land. Anything aside this, we will take as confirmation of our suspicion that the rot is from the very top.
“The allegations raised by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources is a confirmation of our earlier stance that the APC administration is in tatters, an administration without coordination, but one planted firmly in the hands of a few cabal who are stealing the nation dry while the president continues to feign ignorance of the sickening stench,” he said.
“The sum involved in the NNPC scandal is $25bn: less than 10 per cent of that ($2bn) is involved in the so called arms fund allegedly converted by the former NSA, for which hundreds of Nigerians have been arrested and hounded,” he added.
But APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, in a phone interview with Daily Trust, yesterday, said the former ruling party had no evidence to buttress its allegations.
“What I can tell you is that they don’t have any evidence to support what they are saying. Has the president said he wants to contest in 2019? So, what they are saying is unwarranted. They are just trading by vendetta and nothing more.”