The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged fresh plots by “the cabal” in the Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to use fake subheads and duplicated projects as ploy to re-loot the recently repatriated $311 million.
The United States had, on Monday, released the funds to the Nigerian government. The money was part of the funds looted and stashed in foreign banks by the late military dictator, Sani Abacha when he was head of state from 1993 to 1998.
In a statement on Wednesday by the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said that the “cabal” had perfected the use of fake subheads as nomenclatures to mislead those who repatriated the funds and pave way for the frittering of the money to their private pockets, “as they had done with earlier repatriated funds”.
The PDP further alleged that part of the strategy was to hype hazy subheads and stampede the dissipation of the funds without the statutory approval of the National Assembly.
This, according to the main opposition party, would enable the said cabal to muddle up accountability processes, conceal fraud and divert the attention of the unsuspecting public from the scam.
“The fraudulent dissipation of the funds will then be followed with false performance claims as well as blackmailing and intimidation of Nigerians demanding for both transparency and accountability in the handling of the money,” the party said.
It noted that such had become the “standard ruse” for the cabal and APC leaders, who the party alleged, also looted the earlier repatriated $322 million under the guise of sharing money to the poor in 19 states.
The main opposition party insisted that the government had not been able to provide answers to allegations that more than 90 percent of the 300,000 households it listed as beneficiaries of the initial $322 million were phony family names.
“Nigerians would recall how the claims of the APC Government was rubbished by the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, who had alerted the nation that the N500 billion Social Investment Programme of the Buhari administration was hugely shrouded in corruption and that bulk of the money did not get to the poor and vulnerable.
“Furthermore, the Federal Government had failed to publish the details of the alleged APC leaders who own the consulting firms that was allegedly paid billions of naira up front, as consultancy fee for the ‘sharing’ of the money, which was not also passed through the constitutionally required approval of the National Assembly.
“The APC-led Federal Government had also failed to account for the $308 million repatriated in February, for which it cannot point to any project, but rather faced with allegations of unbridled looting by the cabal and certain APC leaders, including those exposed to be receiving huge percentages from repatriated funds.
“The PDP invites Nigerians to note that the APC government had remained silent on the report by the US Department of State that the Federal Government plots to funnel this repatriated money to certain individuals connected to the APC.
“The report had exposed that the Federal Government was even in the process of funnelling $100 million of the funds to Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, the Chairman of APC Governors Forum, who was reportedly indicted by the US for allegedly helping in transferring billions of dollar out of the country during the military era.
“It is also strange that the Federal Government is keeping an ominous silence on how much, in line with its style, would be farmed out to vested interests as legal fees on the repatriated funds.
“The PDP counsels that this repatriated $311 million should be safeguarded from the antics of the APC cabal.
“Our party demands that the fund should be surrendered to the National Assembly for proper statutory appropriation and urge Nigerians to resist schemes by the cabal to prevent them from demanding explanations on the looting of repatriated funds.”