Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Olu Falae, has admitted that he collected N100 million from the former chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). New Telegraph had exclusively reported yesterday that a former SGF and erstwhile governor in the South-West got N100 million each from the N260 million given to Anenih by the office of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
Falae told New Telegraph yesterday that the money was purely an interparty affair between the PDP and the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which he is the National Chairman. The former presidential candidate said the money was given to the SDP to effectively campaign for the PDP in the 2015 presidential election. According to him, in the build up to the 2015 general elections, the PDP and SDP entered into working agreement.
His words: “In the build up to the presidential election, the PDP approached the SDP which I chaired. The then ruling party solicited for our support in order for President Goodluck Jonathan to win the March 28 presidential election. “Anenih related with me as the chairman of the PDP BoT and I did same as the SDP National Chairman. He wrote to me as PDP BoT chairman and I wrote back as SDP National Chairman stating conditions/terms for the alliance.
I have the record. “It is true that N100 million was given to my party to endorse and work for the Jonathan’s candidature in the 2015 election. We used the money for that purpose and we effectively campaigned for the PDP since we did not have presidential candidate in the election. The money was not for me.
“Thank God I’m a retired civil servant. I have all the documents to prove all that transpired between the two parties.” The former Finance Minister stated that there was no way he could know that the money was from arms fund. “With all the money PDP has and having spent 16 years in power, how would I know that the money was from the arms deal? No reference was made to the arms deal. So, they should not bring me into the arms issue.
The relationship was purely interparty affairs,” Falae told New Telegraph. New Telegraph exclusively reported that Anenih, in his letter to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), stated that the former SGF and ex-governor’s groups were given N100 million each in the build up to the 2015 presidential election.
New Telegraph also reported that another group from Katsina State got N35 million, while Second Republic Presidential Adviser on National Assembly, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, got N63 million from Anenih. Anenih, in the letter addressed to the EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu, stated that the money was transferred to him on the instruction of former President Goodluck Jonathan for specific assignments.
In the letter, Anenih stated that he spent over N441 million far above the N260 million he received from the NSA. The former PDP BoT chair stated that the beneficiaries of the money acknowledged the receipt. In an interview with New Telegraph, Yakassai explained how he and other members of his group spent the money collected from Anenih. Yakassai told New Telegraph that the said fund was for peace advocacy to traditional rulers in the North.
The former Special Adviser to former President Shehu Shagari on National Assembly Liaison noted that: “The money was given in two tranches. The money was given to us around middle of January 2015, and we concluded the tour, middle of February.
“The EFCC has not invited me or talked to me, there are many of us in the committee that they have mentioned. I will not mention the exact amount until we get to court. It’s not N63 million,” he said. Speaking exclusively to New Telegraph yesterday, Yakassai said he was not aware that the fund sent to the group that he led was from the arms deal procurement, adding that he will not mention the exact amount he collected on behalf of the group until the issue gets to court.
According to Yakassai, “The money Anenih gave to me was to energise a group who appointed me to be their leader and the money was for us to go and meet with traditional rulers in all the 19 states of northern Nigeria and appeal to them to be sure that the election was conducted in a peaceful atmosphere
. “There were nine of us, eight of us as members, then my personal assistant. We met with traditional rulers in each of the states in the North. The money was for the allowance of the members of the team, their accommodation and transportation. But on our own, whenever we visit any traditional ruler, we give some gifts. But that was out of our own volition.”
Meanwhile, operatives of the EFCC, on Wednesday night, arrested a former Military Administrator of Kaduna State, Brigadier-General Lawal Jafaru Isa (rtd), at his Abuja residence. A source at the commission’s headquarters said Isa, who is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was alleged to have benefited from the $2.1 billion arms scandal. Isa, who held sway in Kaduna State between December 1993 and August 1996, was still being interrogated as at the time of filing this report.
The Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the arrest of the retired military officer to New Telegraph.
The latest arrest came few hours after the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Magu, had hinted that more prominent Nigerians would soon be arrested in connection with the arms scandal. “More influential Nigerians are on the radar of the EFCC and, in the coming weeks, they would have their days in court and Nigerians will be kept fully abreast of the results of the Commission’s investigations.
“New Telegraph’s investigation revealed that the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, was still being held by the anti-graft agency. Metuh is being grilled over alleged discovery of N1.4 billion “turnover” in a company he is said to have links with.
The EFCC had quizzed, detained and charged some high profile individuals to court, former Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, ex-minister of State for Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, and the founder of Daar Communications Plc., Chief Raymond Dokpesi.