Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The immediate past National Treasurer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Buhari Bala, has described allegations of misappropriation of funds levelled against members of the former National Working Committee (NWC) of the party as unfounded.
Ahead of the December 9 national convention of the of the PDP, some interest groups within the party had accused members of the former NWC led by Prince Uche Secondus of squandering N9 billion said to have been left behind by the former National Chairman, Adamu Muazu.
However, in a statement issued yesterday, the former National Treasurer said the authors of such allegation was either acting on ignorance or may have set out for a deliberate mischief as no such money of the party was left by Muazu nor misappropriated by anybody.
He said it was because of the proper rendering of the accounts of the PDP that the ant graft agencies did not raise any eyebrow over the party finances.
He said an accounting audit firm audited the accounts of the party and expressed their opinion on the accounts, giving it a clean bill of health.
The ex-party scribe while describing the allegation as cheap and malicious, said the party’s audited report during the period under review was available.
“Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) also sent in their own appointed auditors to inspect the books of the accounts of the party. They all gave clean bill of health to the books of accounts of the party. Same was reported to all relevant organs of the party.
“I believe that the on-going politics in the party towards electing a new NWC may have informed the inaccurate publications but I want to state unequivocally that it is based on false ground and cannot influence members of the party because leaders are privy to the correct situation,” he said.
Bala advised party members not to make the issue of funds and its appropriation a campaign issue in the forthcoming National Convention because it would not fly since no party fund was misappropriated.
According to him, all organs of the party including the NEC, BOT, forum of governors and National Assembly caucus of our great party sitting in an enlarged caucus of the party are all aware of the financial position of the party.
“It would not be in the interest of the reconciliation and peace being engendered and midwifed by the Ahmed Markarfi led National Caretaker Committee for members to embark on malicious campaign at this time.
“I want to therefore reiterate for umpteenth times that as National Treasurer, and as dedicated by the ethics of my noble profession of accountancy and who was the custodian of the party funds at the time, no party fund was misappropriated or misapplied and therefore should not be an issue at this time when the party is moving towards rebuilding itself for the great challenges ahead.
“Rather the former NWC should be commended for the judicious handling of the party funds and other affairs at the most difficult moment. During this period in question no money apart from money that was internally generated got into the confers of the party.
“It is as a result of this that the party has not been mentioned in the misappropriation of campaign funds. The party was completely sidelined during the presidential and gubernatorial campaigns, therefore had no access to any funds apart from the one that was internally generated.
“Today we have a party to be proud of because the previous NWC had protected the sanctity of the party by not allowing it to get involved in activities that will put it in the bad light. The party has not been mentioned since the commencement of the investigation into financial misappropriation and misapplication of the last administration,” he said.