What has come to be a trademark of elections in Nigeria, has continued unabated, as the two major political parties have intensified their allegations, and counter allegations against each other.
This time, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led government of Bayelsa State of making a suspicious withdrawal of N17.5 billion for vote buying during the coming November 16 election in the state.
The deputy national publicity secretary of the APC, Mr. Yekini Nabena, made the allegation in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
He called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to probe the alleged withdrawal, which he said was withdrawn by proxies of Governor Seriake Dickson.
The party also called for the arrest of the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Maxwell Ebibai, who it accused as overseeing the alleged ‘illegal withdrawals’.
The statement read, “In the last two weeks the Bayelsa state government has, in highly suspicious circumstances, made several withdrawals to the tune of N17.5 billion, without any corresponding project to justify the withdrawals. Insider reports we received stated that Governor Seriake Dickson approved the illegal withdrawals to fund the election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the state.
“The EFCC and the NFIU must urgently freeze the state government accounts to stop further illegal withdrawals. They must also track down the already withdrawn N17.5 billion and arrest the State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Maxwell Ebibai who oversaw the illegal withdrawals.
“Our sources reported that some of the cash is stashed in the Governor’s Toru-Orua country home. Others have been laundered by the Commissioner for Finance, through the Bayelsa Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC).
“When I spoke to journalists last week, I had raised alarm over the Governor openly boasting that he has the money to pay the police and army, including their retirement benefits, if they work for him in the elections.
“It is now clear that Governor Dickson is bent on using the federal allocation meant for Bayelsans to rig the election and install his stooge.
“He also plans to use public funds to sponsor new militant camps and the illegal activities of the state security outfit, Operation Doo Akpo, which he is using to harass political opponents in his party PDP and APC members, supporters and leaders in the state ahead of the governorship election.”
This came as the PDP had also earlier, among other accusations, alleged that the ruling party was planning to rig the forthcoming pollls using soldiers.