We Believed N700m Campaign Fund Was From Jonathan’s Fund Raising Dinner, Says Edo PDP Chair

Dan-OrbihChairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Edo State, Chief Dan Orbih, has exonerated himself and members of the party over the N700 million campaign fund they received to prosecute the 2015 presidential election.
Mr. Orbih said PDP members in the state believed that the money came from the national headquarters of the party, which raked in over N20 billion during a fund raising dinner for then President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election.
However, investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have traced the source of the N700m to a $115 million (N23 billion) slush fund allegedly operated by former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The EFCC has in the last few weeks interrogated some PDP officials and top officials of Fidelity Bank, through which the N23b was disbursed, in connection with the slush fund, which was for the purpose of bribing electoral officials to rig the 2015 presidential election results in favour of former President Jonathan.
Mr. Orbih, who is one of several PDP leaders to have been arrested and quizzed by the EFCC on how the N700m campaign fund was expended in the state, said he told his interrogators that there was no way he could have questioned the source of the money or know whether the money was stolen.
In a chat with journalists Thursday in Benin City, the Edo State capital after his release from EFCC custody, the PDP chief noted that the money was judiciously expended to the satisfaction of the former president.
“It is a standard practice all over the world for political parties to raise money for election
“The money we received was sent to us from Abuja and we believed it was from the money realized during the fund raising dinner.
“Edo State PDP was not in a position to know where the money came from”, Mr. Orbih said.