A former governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili has distanced himself from the allegation that he received N100 million from the former Minister of State for Finance, Amb. Bashir Yuguda.
The sum was allegedly from the $2.2 billion arms deal fund coordinated by the Office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
Amb. Yuguda, currently in the custody of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had in his Statement of Witness/Accused written under oath, claimed that he gave N100 million each to six Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains in the six geo-political zones of the country, including Odili, who was chairman of the Contact and Mobilization Committee of the former ruling party in the South-south.
The former Rivers governor, who denied receiving any funds from the former minister, however, confirmed that he collected the sum of N100 million along with other zonal chairmen of the PDP contact and mobilization committees in the house of the then National Chairman of the party, Dr Adamu Muazu, for the 2015 elections.
According to Odili, he would have ignored this recent falsehood “attributed to Mr Yuguda, but for the fact that the uninformed are beginning to latch on this long – held false and tendentious narrative”, hence his decision to rebut this with all vehemence.
“My attention has been drawn to some publications where a former Minister of State (Finance), Mr Bashir Yuguda was quoted to have said that he allegedly gave me the sum of N100 million, out of the money he purportedly collected from the former National Security Adviser”, he said in a statement Tuesday.
“I decided to personally sign this rebuttal because over the years, I had ignored various spurious and patently false reports against me because I know that at the fullness of time, the truth would surely prevail.
“I categorically state with all sense of responsibility that I have never had any dealings, private or business or official, with the former National Security Adviser, so the issue of allegedly collecting N100 million from either the former NSA or Mr Yuguda does not arise”, Odili said.
The former governor said that as part of preparations towards the 2015 elections, the PDP set up contact and mobilisation committees across the six geo-political zones and he was appointed the Chairman of the South-south mobilisation committee.
“Consequent upon this, the party, not the former NSA or Yuguda gave the South-south Committee through me, the sum of N100 million along with other zonal Chairmen, in the house of the National Chairman, Dr. Adamu Muazu, for the assignment.
“This amount was subsequently disbursed to the relevant party members from the zone for the assignment given by the party. I have the appointment letter and terms of reference, minutes of all the meetings, signatures of all the members and the report of the zonal committee, which was duly submitted to the Party Leader.
“I reiterate for the purpose of emphasis, that I had no dealings with the former NSA, neither did I collect any money from Yuguda. I challenge anyone who has any contrary evidence to produce it”, Mr. Odili explained.