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.” (Sahara Reporters)