FREEPRESS – Former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih, is in no mood to refund the N260million, which he allegedly collected from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) for the ill-fated re-election bid of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
On the contrary, Chief Anenih says the former president left him with “a balance of over N180 million as bad debt”, which he (Anenih) incurred to have him returned to office last year.
The veteran politician, in a letter to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), claimed to have spent over N440 million of his personal money on the re-election bid of Jonathan and cannot be expected to refund any money to government.
Besides, Anenih listed “some out-of-pocket disbursements made on the instructions of the former president” to include N25 million to former Deputy Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Muktari Shagari, and N35 million to a delegation of Local Government leaders from Katsina State.
“On the instruction of the former president, the BoT embarked on a nationwide tour to reconcile aggrieved and feuding members,” he said.
He also spoke about the money he “spent on hiring small jets during the tour” which was not refunded to him.
Most of the expenditures, according to him, were on the instructions of Jonathan for special political assignments.
Anenih said only N260 million was refunded to him by the former president, “leaving a balance of over N180 million as bad debt.
He explained in his letter to the EFCC that he “only provided his account details to the former president on request for a refund of the money spent.
“I was not in a position to ask the former president how he was going to source the fund or through which office the refund was going to be made.
“I was not a direct beneficiary of the sum of N260 million that was a part refund of the money I spent on the president’s instructions.
“N63 million was disbursed to a northern group led by elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, for mobilisation and post election peace advocacy in that part of the country.
“N100 million was given to the National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Chief Olu Falae, to enable the party mobilise support and votes for the PDP presidential candidate since the SDP did not have a candidate for the election.
“N100 million was disbursed to the Leader of ACCORD party, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, to also enable the party to support and mobilize voters for the PDP candidate.
” Yakassai, Falae and Ladoja have all confirmed that they received the stated amounts from Anenih.
“The total of these three disbursements is already N3m more that the N260 million refund.”
Throwing light on his exit as chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Anenih said that despite his selfless effort, commitment to stabilise the party and ensure post-election peace, he was “pressurised to resign as BoT chair on trumped-up charges of anti-party activities and alleged overbearing influence.”