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Confession of a Member of House Of Reps: 'I Paid Money To Secure My Seat'.

Source: huhuonline.com
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In Nigeria, politics has become the best way for people to line their own pockets first, while serving the people has taken a back seat. Consequently politicians are ready to go to any length to get party nominations or emerge winners at the polls.

Against this backdrop, Huhuonline.com understands that Hon. Saudatu. A. Sanni , chairman of house committee   on Millennium Development Goal, has admitted she paid   one million naira   as bribe to secure her seat in 2007.

Diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks reveals that Hon. Saudatu. A. Sanni paid state party delegates in excess of USD7,812(N1, 000,000) to win the party nomination for reelection.  

According to Hon.Sani, she paid 20,000 Naira (USD 156) to each of the 50 state party delegates in order to secure the nomination.

Continuing, Sani said her opponent had made a last-minute attempt to pay each of the delegates 50,000 Naira (USD 390), but that she had intervened with the bank where her opponent had taken out a loan, delaying the loan and thereby scuttling the attempt.

Hon. Saudatu .A. Sanni represents Lere Federal Constituency of Kaduna state and was former chairman house committee on women affair. She is a member of the house committee on Donor Agencies, State and Local government affairs and Women Affairs.

 
Full text of the diplomatic cable, reads :
Classified By: Ambassador John Campbell for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

 
¶ 1. (S) SUMMARY.   House of Representatives member Saudatu A.

Sani, strictly protect, told Poloffs on January 23 that she

bought her PDP nomination to return to the House for

approximately 1 million Naira (USD 7,812).   Sani maintained

that the party primaries are the most corrupt segment of the

elections process.   She indicated that she and several other

candidates plan to speak out about the process once they are

reelected.   According to Sani, the current system of

nominating candidates favors male candidates as they have

access to more money.   Sani also expressed exasperation at

the level of corruption and also relayed to Poloffs a story

of microcredit loans allocated by the Federal Government to

the Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank, for

which she has been unable to track funds, trace payments or

find grant recipients.   END SUMMARY.
 
-------------------------
BUYING THE PDP NOMINATION
-------------------------
 
¶ 2. (S) Saudati Sani (strictly protect), PDP member of the

House of Representatives and Chair of Commitee on Women's

Affairs and Youth, told Poloffs on January 23 that she paid

state party delegates in excess of USD 7,800 to win the party

nomination for reelection.   According to Sani, she paid

20,000 Naira (USD 156) to each of the 50 state party

delegates in order to secure the nomination.   Sani said her

opponent had made a last-minute attempt to pay each of the

delegates 50,000 Naira (USD 390), but that she had intervened

with the bank where her opponent had taken out a loan,

delaying the loan and thereby scuttling the attempt.

According to Sani, she and several other House members

seeking reelection plan to speak out about the corruption of

the system -- immediately following their reelection, of

course.
 
¶ 3. (C) Sani outlined the other expenses involved in her

nomination as well.   She told Poloffs she paid 5,000 Naira

(approximately USD 40) per day for each of ten vans she used

on the campaign, as well as the expenses for her campaign

team members.   The large sums of money needed to secure the

nomination, she contended, made it almost impossible for

women to succeed as they often do not have the financial

resources of their male colleagues.   Even the reduced cost of

the PDP declaration form, she contended, in the end works

against women as it undermines the perceived strength of

female candidates in the eyes of men in the party.   Sani

claimed the PDP rule allowing women a "handicap" in the

nomination process was simply for show and would never be

applied in practice.   (NOTE:   PDP headquarters confirmed that

according to the PDP primary rules a candidate must receive

50 percent of the vote to gain the nomination.   If, however,

a male candidate wins the most votes, but less than 50

percent, and a female candidate wins the second most votes,

the nomination will be given to the female candidate without

a runoff.   Likewise, if a female candidate wins the most

votes, but less than 50 percent, the nomination will be given

to her without a runoff.   No female candidates won nomination

by this rule.)
 
¶ 4. (C) COMMENT.   It is interesting to note that the common

practice is for each of the candidates to pay every delegate

and compete in a "bidding war" for the vote, rather than to

focus money on paying just the number of delegates needed to

secure the majority.   The bidding war nature of the

competition also requires delegates to disclose to the

candidates the amounts paid by their opponents.   In other

words, the corruption is blatant, with no attempt to hide the

activity.
 
¶ 5. (C) COMMENT CONTINUED.   It should also be noted that this

level of corruption is taking place within a single political

party, where the candidates would normally be presumed to

share like ideologies and an allegiance to the party.

Likewise, the party delegates would normally be presumed to

vote with the best interest of the party and the potential

for winning the election in mind.   Aside from the immediate

payoff of 20,000 Naira, payment for a vote would only be

worthwhile if you thought the candidate would win in the end

(as patronage would follow the party lines).   This may be yet

another signal that PDP members are highly confident of their

ability to win the elections at all levels.   END COMMENT.

 
ABUJA 00000163   002.2 OF 002
 
 
 
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MICROCREDIT LOAN GRANT UNTRACEABLE
----------------------------------
 
¶ 6. (S) In describing the absurdity of current levels of

corruption, Sani sited the example of 100 million Naira (USD

781,250) which was given by the Federal Government to the

Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank (ACRDB)

for microcredits to women's enterprises.   According to Sani,

the terms of the grant stated that the money should be loaned

to women in twelve selected states and the governments of the

selected states should also pay into the grant fund

(increasing the fund to well over 100 million Naira).   Sani

has been attempting to follow-up on the fund to track the

success of the microcredits.   She was appalled, however, when

no one (including the ACRDB, the Ministry of Women's Affairs,

or the State offices of women's affairs) could tell her what

had happened to the money, or even which states had been

selected to receive the funds.   With no record of which

states were selected, Sani said the funds became almost

impossible to track.   Sani told Poloffs initiating an

investigation into the use of these funds is one of her top

priorities upon reelection.
 
CAMPBELL