Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has called on the former Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih to return the N260m allegedly shared to him by the former National Security Adviser (NSA) Col Dasuki Sambo (rtd) from the $2.1 billion Abacha loot meant for arms purchase to fight terrorism in parts of the country.
Speaking at a rally of the All Progressives Congress in Benin City where prominent PDP leaders and their mammoth followers including two former members of the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Patrick Ikhariale and Hon Abbas Braimoh decamped to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Oshiomhole said, “we have seen even the godfather’s name being mentioned. Even at old age, he collected N260m, and I want the godfather to deny or to confirm it. If he wants to refund the money, I will collect it from him and I will go to Abuja without deducting anything from it, and I will hand it over to President Muhammadu Buhari.”
On Anenih’s tenure at Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), the Governor said, “And you can see, this is not yet an outcome of any investigation. I am sure by the time the NPA book is fully opened, more revelations will come out.”
Making reference to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Governor Oshiomhole said, “By the time they open NIMASA, you will understand how these people helped themselves and their families, and deprived even the activists who helped to make them relevant. When it was time for help, they dealt quietly, when it was time to mobilize they used everybody. And I think if this is what President Buhari has done for Nigeria, helping us to understand how old people were eating the grasscutter which the younger boys had gone to the bush to bring home.
“Even without teeth, in their 90s, they never stop stealing. So you can see why new changes are necessary. Not just to build roads but to change the political system they doesn’t allow the young to grow. We respect elders, but the elders must not prevent the younger ones from growing.”
He commended the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari in his fight against corruption and assuring uninterrupted power supply, “President Buhari has a huge task of rebuilding a country that has been so grossly mismanaged. I believe God loves Nigeria so much that he gave us President Buhari at the time he did. Now when you read newspapers, you can imagine if Jonathan had continued in office, where we could have been today. You can only imagine that.
“For the first time, big people are being asked to account. In the past, you only hear of governors, we only hear of local government chairmen, commissioners. But this time, we are seeing a Minister of Finance confessing like a witch.”
A statement from Edo State Government House recalled that one of the counts against Col Dasuki who is currently being prosecuted by the anti-graft agency before Justice H.Y. Baba and Justice P.O. Affen of the High Court of Justice of the Federal Capital Territory is “that you Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki whilst being National Security Adviser and Shaibu Salisu, whilst being the Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the National Security Adviser(ONSA) on or about 28th November 2014 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, and in such capacities entrusted with dominion over certain properties to wit: the sum of N260million being part of the funds in the account of the ONSA with Skye Bank Plc committed criminal breach of trust in respect of the said property when you transferred same to the bank account of Tony Anenih with First Bank of Nigeria Plc and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 315 of the Penal Code Act, Cap 532, Vol.4, LFN 2004.”
Welcoming the defectors to the APC, Governor Oshiomhole assured them that they will be treated equally as other party members. He urged all APC leaders at both local government and state levels to commence the process of integration the new members into the APC fold, “Let me assure our leaders; they have come to reinforce our leadership, and they will be part of our leadership. When we harness all these people together, we have a more potent political party. We are one and the same. There is no discrimination. Each of these leaders that have decamped today has come to join forces with you to ensure victory.
“Those who are left there should remain idle. That is where they belong. The house is now complete. We only need these generals to do the infantry work, to mop up the few people remaining. We should integrate fully because if we don’t integrate, we will not be able to harness the gains of this exercise.”
The defectors from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progress Congress (APC) include Hon. Patrick Ikhariale, former member representing Esan West, Esan Central and Igueben Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives; Hon. Abbas Braimah (aka congress man), former member representing Etsako Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, former State legislator representing Igueben constituency Hon. Sunday Ereghan, Hon. Emma Ehiabhi, Hon. Bisi Idaomi, Hon. Sule Asemokhai, Hajia Hauwa, Barr. Kelvin Aigbe and a large crowd of other leaders and their followers.
Among the APC leaders who received the decampees were the State APC Chairman Barr. Anslem Ojezua, former Governor, Prof Oserheimen Osunbor, Gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in 2012, Maj-Gen Charles Airhiavbere; member Federal House of Representatives representing Etsako Federal Constituency Hon. Philip Shuaibu, Secretary to Edo State Government Prof Julius Ihonvbere among others.