Fraud Allegations: PDP tells FG to prosecute Lai Mohammed, Yusuf
***warns Oshiomhole to leave party alone
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded the immediate prosecution of the former Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, over his alleged role in the reported National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) N2.5 billion fraud.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary of the party also demanded the immediate prosecution of the sacked Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Prof. Usman Yusuf, over allegations of misappropriation of N919 million as exposed by a ministerial panel.
The PDP said that the duo must not be left off the hook because of their affiliation with the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Presidency.
The party insisted that Mohammed should be prosecuted alongside the already docked Director General of the NBC, Alhaji Modibbo Kawu, following his statement at the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The PDP invited Nigerians to note that the ICPC had already indicated, in a press release, that the former minister Mohammed admitted in a statement to it, that he was “misled” by the Director General of the NBC, who was his subordinate, into approving the payment of the N2.5 billion to a private company.
It recalled that the ICPC had said, “the former minister’s involvement had come under questioning following the discovery by the ICPC, during investigations, that a government White Paper that governs the execution of DSO programme was allegedly flouted by the head of the NBC. Mohammed had however admitted in a statement to the commission that he was misled by Kawu…”
The PDP, therefore, insisted that since the ICPC holds that the former minister’s involvement had come under questioning, he should be made to explain himself in the dock, not as a witness but as a defendant in the matter.
The statement added: “This is a former minister who was in a haste to publish names of innocent Nigerians as looters just because they are members of the PDP, while a humongous fraud simmered under his nose.”
Furthermore, the PDP stated that the dismissal of the NHIS boss has also vindicated its position that billions of naira belonging to the Scheme and meant for the health needs of Nigerians was being frittered.
The Party, therefore, stated that Prof. Yusuf must be prosecuted in order to track and recover the over N25 billion allegedly siphoned from the account of the Scheme in the Treasury Single Account (TSA) to service APC interests.
In a separate statement, the main opposition party warned the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, to face “his pending corruption allegations and an imminent sack for alleged misconduct, instead of seeking a face-saving measure by embarking on shadow-boxing against the PDP.”
The party said Oshiomhole, who it noted was battling his ouster calls by APC leaders over allegations of corruption and malfeasance in his handling of their party, was in no position to cast aspersions or pontificate to the PDP on the party’s lawful internal activities and relationship with our elected public officials.
“Instead of trying to launder his image by unnecessarily attacking the PDP, we advice Oshiomhole to redeem his name by submitting himself to the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to answer huge allegations of corruption as Edo state governor as well as alleged misconducts as APC Chairman,” the PDP said.
The statement challenged Oshiomhole to speak out on the allegations that he fled the country at the wake of his reported interrogation by the DSS in 2018 over accusations of corruption.
It added: “This is a leader who had accepted that his party and the government it formed are sanctuaries of corrupt persons, when he stated, at the APC campaign rally in Edo state last year, that “once you join the APC, your sins are forgiven”.
“Moreover, instead of this fixation on the PDP, Oshiomhole already has his plate full with the crisis in his home state, Edo, where he is generally believed to be responsible for political tension by trying to force himself on the state governor, Governor Godwin Obaseki, as godfather.
“Oshiomhole needs to concentrate on the crisis rocking his party as well as the Presidency where the members of the cabal are at daggers drawn over the sharing of positions as ‘booty’ of a rigged election.”