Posted by Charles lwuoha | 14 January 2020 | 312 times
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Youth Support Group Ebonyi State has called on the leadership of the party to immediately set up a committee to investigate the alleged embezzlement of the N21 million belonging to the party by the State Chairman, Pastor Eze Nwachukwu Eze.
The group leader, Hon. Ifeabuotu Igwe, who made the call on Monday, in Abakaliki, demanded possible suspension of the culprits if found guilty.
The Youth Leader said that the investigation has become expedient to save the party from total collapse and factionalisation.
Hon. Igwe stated that if the matter is not urgently resolved and the perpetrators of the embezzlement brought to book, the party would witness mass defection adding that stakeholders of the party in the zone are handling the matter with kid gloves.
Igwe said: “It is unfortunate and regrettable that the party is losing its respect and integrity in the state. We cannot be calming that President Mohammadu Buhari is fighting corruption but there are allegations of corrupt practices within the party yet the leaders of the party in the zone are yet to address the issue.
“There are allegations that the gubernatorial candidate of the party, Senator Sunni Ogbuoji, and the State Chairman of the party, Pastor Eze Nwachkwu Eze, failed to release both the campaign and election funds to members to mobilise voters on the election day which led to the party’s woeful during the election.
“We as a group had expected that the leadership of the party in the zone should have by now investigated the allegations and reconcile all aggrieved parties. There is no smoke without fire, the leaders of the party should not just ignore the petition by some members of the State working committee (SWC) who openly and through their petition accused the chairman of the party of embezzling 21 million naira belonging to the party.
“The petition which we have a copy was written by the Party’s Welfare Secretary, Hon Nwaze Ernest, and addressed to the state secretary of the party, John Akuma Okochi.”
According to the petition, “It accused the Chairman of the party, Pastor Eze Nwachwukwu Eze of diverting ten million naira which was given to support the party during the election by Kano State governor, Abduhali Ganduje.
“His allegation against the Chairman is so grevious and should be investigated. Our worry is that he also alleged that he also embezzled another ten million naira given to the party by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, and another one million naira also given to the party by Chief Elias Mbam of Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission.
“The Chairman was also accused of running an illegal account created with the party’s name All Progressives Congress with invalid and unconstitutionally recognized signatories as provided for in Article 23(iia-d) of the APC constitution 2014 as amended.
“The Minister for Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, recently said that the state intends to capture 3 states in 2023, we as a group wonder how that can be achieved in a state of rancour and bitterness among members of the State Working committee members of the party.
“We call on the Minister and other leaders of the party to find an amicable resolution to the crisis rocking the party as that would help the party in the forthcoming local government election in the state.”
Reacting to the allegation, the APC chairman, Pastor Eze Nwachuwkwu Eze, denied embezzling any money belonging to the party.
Nwachukwu however admitted that the party raked in 21 million naira in the build up to the 2019 general elections, but said the money were judiciously distributed across the 13 local government areas of the state for the purposes of the elections.
He said the documents stating how the funds were distributed and expended were still with the party.
“We did not receive any other money from the party for the purpose of running the 2019 general elections. So, the 21 million naira was used across the state to pay our party agents who worked for us during the elections. The money was given to us by Kano state governor, Ganduje who gave us 10 million naira to support us.
“The governorship candidate of the party was aware of the money. Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu also gave us 10 million naira while one Elias Mbam of Revenue Mobilization gave 1million. The money was used for National Assembly and governorship elections.
“None of the money was given privately; it was an open donation and the money were paid into the party’s account which have many signatories. I cannot withdraw money from the party’s account alone, others must be involved.
“Those who are saying that I embezzled the money were the same people the PDP planted and used to work against us during the elections. There are still surprised that the party is still moving forward despite their betrayers. The matter has been brought to the SWC of the party and a committee has been set to look into the allegations.
“Those who are making the accusations should know the consequences of their actions if at the end of the matter the committee says that I did not embezzle any money.”
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