By Mike Odiakose
…PDP alleges coverage by Presidency
Palpable anxiety on Wednesday enveloped the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Abuja following reports that the party’s national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was grilled by operatives of Department of Sate Service, DSS, over corruption allegations.
Reports emerged late Monday night that the Comrade Oshiomhole was detained and grilled by DSS operatives for nine hours after some APC governors alleged that he received bribes during the party’s primary elections across the country.
According to sources, “Adams Oshiomhole was arrested by the DSS, they didn’t show him any petition. It was alleged by some governors that he collected bribe during the primaries.”
When Nigerian Pilot visited the APC national secretariat, it was observed that the usual boisterous activities were missing as members of the party and some workers were noticed discussing the alleged interrogation of the national chairman in groups.
The feeling that all was not well was very thick in the air, even as majority of the members of the National Working Committee, NWC, stayed away from the secretariat.
Attempts by the media to get the reaction of the party from the new National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa Onilu was not successful until his deputy, Kayode Nabeni impressed it on him to respond to the media.
At about 1:17 pm Mallam Onilu bowed to pressure and sent a message through the social media that they do not have information on the interrogation of Oshiomhole.
He added that Oshiomhole is out of the country.
The message reads: “Good afternoon. We do not have any information on this rumour. More so, the Chairman is not around in the country to confirm or deny this. As soon as we have any relevant information, you’ll be updated.”
Probed further, the APC Spokesman said he does not know where Oshiomhole travelled to but “I do know it’s a scheduled personal trip he could not make last week due to the November 2 deadline for the submission of candidates.”
Reacting to the alleged detention and probe of the APC chairman, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, described as reprehensible, revelations that the Muhammadu Buhari Presidency is concealing alleged bribery and corrupt practices involving the ruling party’s National Chairman.
PDP said through its Spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan that it is privy to the pressure from the Buhari Presidency on the DSS to let him off the hook for fears that his investigation will unearth the complicity of the Presidency and other key APC members in the scam.
According to Ologbondiyan, information available to the PDP reveals that apart from the billion of naira, he allegedly stole from the coffers of Edo state when he was governor, Oshiomhole is facing charges of allegedly collecting billions of naira bribe from some ministers and other APC sources in Adamawa, Rivers, Kano and Imo states to manipulate the 2019 electoral process.
“This is in addition to allegedly collecting billions of naira from Presidency sources to influence electoral officers, independent observers and certain polling organizations ahead of the 2019 election, part of which was allegedly diverted for personal use of some APC leaders.
“The PDP had always alerted Nigerians of the corruption allegation burden on the APC Chairman and the continued official cover provided for him by the Buhari Presidency including stalling his investigation and prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over stealing of billions of naira from Edo State coffers.
“If the Buhari Presidency has nothing to hide; if it is not complicit in the alleged scam, it should allow the DSS and EFCC a free hand to investigate and prosecute his party’s factional chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, particularly now that all issues are laid bare before
“As long as the DSS and the EFCC are not allowed to put Oshiomhole into the dock, the Buhari Presidency does not have the moral rectitude to speak on corruption.
“This is especially as the involvement of the DSS shows that the corruption burden of the APC Chairman has already become a security risk for our nation.”
PDP cautioned that under no circumstance should the Presidency escort Adams Oshiomhole out of the country, just like it did for the “disgraced” Buhari’s former Minister of Finance.