PDP Demands Probe Of 2015 Presidential Campaign Funding

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The Peoples Democratic Party has
called on President Muhammadu Buhari to launch a probe into how the party and
the former opposition party, the All Progressives Congress, funded their
presidential campaigns before the 2015 general elections.
In a statement by its National
Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, on Sunday, the PDP believed that the
probe of the presidential campaign funding should unearth how much the
APC-controlled states contributed to the funding of the campaign that brought
Buhari to power.
Metuh’s statement was in reaction
to the ongoing probe of the procurement of weapons for the Armed Forces during
the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan and the number of PDP bigwigs
that had been arrested in connection with the $2.1bn alleged arm scam.

The party, however, called on the
Buhari administration to begin the prosecution of those who had been found
culpable of corrupt practices, adding that as a party, the PDP would not
support corrupt practices under any guise.
Metuh said the allegation that
people were made ministers just to cover up alleged slush funds that they
provided for the APC presidential campaign must also be probed.
He challenged the Federal
Government to set up a National Truth Commission, wherein politicians and other
Nigerians would publicly discuss the true meaning of corrupt practices in the
land.
Specific areas to be probed,
according to Metuh, are, “The source of funding of the PDP and APC’s 2015
presidential campaigns; the contributions from APC-controlled state governors
for their presidential campaign and the beneficiaries thereof.
“The allegation that people were made
ministers just to cover up the slush fund that they provided to finance the APC
presidential campaign.
“In the light of the way and
manner of this government’s selective prosecution of the war against
corruption, the PDP challenges the government to set up a National Truth
Commission, wherein politicians and other Nigerians will publicly discuss the
true meaning of corrupt practices in our land.
“This commission will also provide
a platform for a proper public inquisition into the mind-boggling wealth of
some Nigerians in public office.”
In distancing itself from those
who might have allegedly corruptly enriched themselves, the opposition party
called on the government to prosecute even those who might have secretly
retuned their stolen money.
Metuh added, “The leadership of
the PDP reiterates its support for an honest, holistic and total war against
corruption and we demand the trial and prosecution of all those involved,
including those who might have returned their ‘loots’ to the government.
“However, we are completely
against any one-sided public trial and mob conviction of accused persons
without following the age-long and worldwide legal process, wherein all accused
persons are presumed innocent until the contrary is lawfully proved.
“We do not believe that mere
investigation confers a guilt verdict on those concerned and the government
should stop the brutal mob and public conviction of individuals and the
transfer of the burden of proof of people being investigated.
“We restate for emphasis that a
media and public war against corruption is good, but it should not be limited
to only those opposed to the President and the ruling party.
“In fact, until top officials of
the former government open up on the exact source of the funding, it remains
premature to be accusing our party members of corrupt practices.”
Metuh said if the government’s
investigation should include the expenditure of Jonathan’s security votes from
2011, the government’s probe should be extended to the inquisition of other
past leaders.
The PDP demanded that the
investigation should cover the security votes of all past Presidents and Heads
of State from 1984 and the award of contracts by the Petroleum Trust Fund from
1995 to 1999.
Other areas Metuh listed are the
expenditure of military purchases and expenditure during the Bakassi wars, the
fight against militancy in the Niger Delta, military interventions in Liberia,
Sierra Leone, Sudan, Somalia and Rwanda among others.

“Nevertheless, if indeed President
Muhammadu Buhari, in anyway whatsoever, desires to probe his opponent in the
presidential election, he should come out straight instead of going round in
circles,” he added.

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