The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, has finally responded to the slew of bribery allegations leveled against him by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
The chairman said the N100m was not a bribe but a donation towards a building project.
Wike labels Ayu corrupt: The embattled chairman had on separate occasions been accused by Wike of collecting an N1 billion bribe from an unnamed PDP presidential aspirant in Lagos and another N100 million from a governor in the party.
Ayu defends himself: But, addressing journalists after the party’s Board of Trustees meeting on Friday, October 14, 2022, Ayu told his own side of the story.
Responding to the Rivers State Governor’s accusations, Ayu explained that the N100m collected from the PDP government was a donation towards the renovation of the Peoples Democratic Institute (PDI) which is due for commissioning in days.
No bribery: On the N1bn allegation, the National Chairman said the money in question was just a mere loan proposal that came up during his early days in office.
He explained that the loan was proposed to ensure that the party meet up with its financial obligations and the said presidential aspirant – who has since left the party – was approached to help facilitate the loan through his bank.
Ayu further explained that the party later jettisoned the idea, stressing that he did not collect any money as the National Chairman of the Party.
Ayu’s words: “I want to make it clear that at no time did I, as the National Chairman of the party, collect any N1bn from anybody. When we came in and the party was having funding difficulties, the presidential candidate suggested that we should take a loan from the bank and the owner of that bank is a member of the party, he has even left the party.
“The party never took any loan from anybody. Any money advanced to the party was declared before the NWC and handed over to the National Treasurer. All our accounts are up to date and we promised to publish the accounts at the end of the year.
“On today’s (Wike) allegations (N100 million), I fully briefed the BoT that one of our governors made a contribution of 100 million for the revival of the PDI which was housed in a portacabin and I explained to them that we hired an appropriate place in Asokoro, we have furnished it, renovated it.
“Three days later we went there, inspected it and the NWC decided that before commissioning we should invite the governor in question to come and inspect what we have done with his contribution.
“I am happy that the National Secretary of the party has since written a letter to that governor. I or the NWC never took any money to carry out that renovation, in fact, we have not even exhausted that N100 million given by one of the governors.
“The consistent attack on my person since the end of the convention on the 31st of May. I have refrained from reacting as the father of the party I felt I should encourage reconciliation.
“But where it touches on my personal integrity or even my family members are brought into play I appeal to such people to desist from trying to malign my character or bringing my family into party affairs.”