EFCC probes APC over expenditure of party funds

EFCC

Strong indications emerged on Thursday that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may have begun beaming its searchlight on how the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by Chief John Odigie-Oyegun has been spending party funds.

The move came barely four days to the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the ruling party.

It coincided with the time the National Leader and former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, issued a strongly worded letter accusing Odigie-Oyegun of frustrating his efforts at reconciling aggrieved members of the party.

The EFCC’s action was said to have been prompted by members of the Buhari/APC Anti-Corruption Support Group.

In a report, the Guardian quoted some sources to have said that officials of the anti-graft agency stormed the party’s secretariat at about 12:00 p.m. yesterday (Thursday) in a black SUV and headed straight to the office of the national chairman.

Last week, the group, led by one Ishola Adeshina, was at the EFCC’s headquarters in Abuja, calling for the immediate probe of the NWC.

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Efforts via telephone to get the National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, to comment on the visit by EFCC operatives failed.

Tinubu’s letter, dated February 21, copied to the President, Vice President, Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, accused Odigie-Oyegun of taking unilateral decisions on the APC crises in Kogi, Kaduna and Adamawa States.

In the letter entitled, ‘Actions and Conduct Weakening the Party from Within’, Tinubu said: “In Kogi, you (Odigie-Oyegun) rushed to the state, to unilaterally inaugurate a new set of state officials, parallel to the officials already heading the state chapter of the party.

“While this may place you in significant affinity with those parallel officials you had picked, this machination suggests no improvement in the welfare of the party in Kogi state or at the national level.

“This usurpation of authority exacerbates the confusion. It doesn’t resolve it.

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“It is my understanding that the dissolution of the duly constituted state executive and the hurried naming of the above mentioned group wasn’t approved by the NWC.

“This arrogation of power sets you at variance with members of the NWC as evidenced by the National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi statement condemning your improper and usual action.

“You had let this situation fester for months on end. Only when I was appointed to help resolve internal disputes and when you realised I might focus early on Kogi did you stir from your indifference and inaction.

“You could have wisely and prudently treated this matter before hand.

“By waiting to the last moment, your unilateral action was implemented in haste and unbalanced in thought.

“By creating a parallel body, you not only acted improperly, you grew a second problem from the stem where previously there had sprouted but one.

“Drawing from your behaviour in Kogi, Kaduna and with regard to the state chapter assessment requested, I am led to the inference that you have no intention of actually supporting my assignment.”

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Odigie-Oyegun nevertheless received the endorsement of members of the Adamawa State House of Assembly who were at the national secretariat of the party, on Thursday.

The lawmakers, led by Speaker Kabiru Mijinyawa, passed a vote of confidence on Odigie-Oyegun and the NWC.

“We have to commend your style of leadership. When the President was inaugurated, he said that we were going to face some challenges, turbulences and encumbrances in the government and the party is not excluded.

“For the past three years, we have seen how you have handled the party at national, state, local government and ward levels.

“With all these turbulences and encumbrances, we are still the great party that we are.”

Barring any last minute change of mind, Buhari was expected to meet with APC governors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday.