PDP: Bribery Scandal Rocks Anambra Guber Primary
…Return my money, Ukachukwu tells Tukur
…How Nwoye emerged
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur is locked in a bitter war with Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu over the latter’s defeat in last weekend’s parallel governorship primary election in Anambra State.
Ukachukwu, Pointblanknews.com gathered, is demanding a full refund of the bribe he handed his national chairman to ensure his emergence as the party’s candidate.
Brushing aside the issues, Tukur today upheld Tony Nwoye as the party’s flagbearer in Anambra State for the November 6 governorship election.
The PDP national chairman stated this in while receiving the report of the party’s electoral panel chaired by Katsina state governor Ibrahim Shema. The panel produced Nwoye against Senator Andy Uba, who also emerged from a parallel exercise.
Ukachukwu’s bribe monies delivered in United States dollars, it was gathered, were channelled through Tukur’s son, Mahmud who was recently docked alongside others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for “conspiracy, forgery, and obtaining N676.9 million under false pretence.”
Ukachukwu, who reportedly amassed a fortune fronting for Adamu Abdullahi and Timipre Sylva, former governors of Nasarawa and Bayelsa states, PDP sources claimed, is threatening to “make things difficult” for Tukur should he fail to return the bribe money.
In November 2010, EFCC charged Ukachukwu and some of his companies, including Prince and Princess Properties, Nick Associates Company, SNECOU, RIOK Industries and NICCUS Industries, for collecting
over N5.6 billion of Nasarawa State money without executing the contracts.
A former member of the House of Representatives, a former governorship candidate, and two-time senatorial. aspirant, Ukachukwu is said to be cross with Tukur’s son and his father for “misleading” him.
PDP sources told Pointblanknews.com that Ukachukwu was particularly bitter because he was single-handedly responsible for sustaining the Ken Emeakayi-led parallel party executive in Anambra State.
“Isn’t it strange that the same NWC (National Working Committee) that forced its key officers to resign over an observation by INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) would now dis obey the same INEC on Anambra?
“INEC has consistently said neither it nor the courts recognize Emeakayi as Anambra PDP chairman. Why did Tukur and remnants of the NWC insist on disregarding INEC? Of course, the chicken has come home to roost and we all now know why Tukur was heady. Ukachukwu’s money was at work,” submitted a former national officer of the party.
The former officer said they had openly and in private warned Tukur to steer clear of Anambra and her moneybags.
“We told the national chairman to look at PDP history. Anambra has been the same banana peel that has swept successive national chairmen off office- from Solomon Lar to Barnabas Gemade, through Audu Ogbeh, Ahmadu Ali, Vincent Ogbulafor to Okwy Nwodo. It’ll come as a little surprise if Anambra sweeps Tukur from office,” he predicted.
A top PDP official expressed fears that Ukachukwu could indeed spill the beans if Tukur failed to come to terms with the defeated aspirant.
The official recalled how Linus, Ukachukwu’s younger brother, had in 2010 threatened to disrupt an NWC meeting of the party if Ogbulafor, the then national chairman, failed to return the money he collected to deliver his elder brother as the party’s governorship candidate.
Apparently bowing to pressure from the then first lady, Hajia Turai Yar’Adua, PDP had at the time just handed its governorship ticket to a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Chukwuma Soludo.
The party officer told Pointblanknews.com that “Linus Ukachukwu raised so much dust that we had to appeal to Ogbulafor to refund whatever monies he took from the enraged family.”
At the weekend parallel primary election, a former Students’ union president, Comrade Tony Nwoye polled 498 votes to floor Ukachukwu, a very wealthy businessman and former member of the National Assembly.
Pointblanknews.com however gathered that Ukachukwu lost because he couldn’t match the N200,000 Nwoye handed each of the 498 delegates who voted for him, totalling close to N100 million for delegates alone.
Multi- billionaire oil magnate and rested political godfather in the south east during the Abacha years, Prince Arthur Eze, Pointblanknews.com gathered, mobilized over N500 million for Nwoye for the primary election.
Eze, who has been seeking ways to relaunch himself after a protracted political oblivion occasioned by Abacha’s death in 1998, has reportedly promised to match any candidate who wishes to stand in the way of his godson dollar-for -dollar.
The least ranking PDP official detailed from Abuja to monitor the parallel primary election, party sources disclosed, pocketed N1 million courtesy of Prince Eze.
Notorious in his political dealings, Prince Eze, chairman of Atlas Oranto Petroleum, a company with oil blocks around the Gulf of Guinea, recently paid $1 million for an armoured Maybach limousine from a Belgium-based security company.
An associate of the party’s national chairman however called Ukachukwu’s bluff. He said his friend would never fall for such “cheap blackmail.”
He challenged the defeated governorship to supply proof that he handed Tukur’s son any money for his father, and for what purpose.
“You have to be wary of such characters, my brother. I don’t think the national chairman would go that low to be caught with this barely literate businessman. He should learn to be a good loser, and not pull down the house because he lost to a smarter person,” he submitted.
Contacted, Tukur’s media assistant, Mr. Oliver Okpala said he was “too busy” to comment on the allegations against his boss.