More facts have surfaced in the ongoing investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) into $115 million slush fund illegally raised by the embattled former minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Aliso-Madueke as Transition Monitoring Group, a coalition of over 400 civic organizations, alleged yesterday that former President Goodluck Jonathan administration offered it a bribe of N2 billion for the purpose of compromising the outcome of the 2015 elections through some agents, a report on The Nation Newspaper says.
TMG chairman, Comrade Ibrahim Zikirullahi, revealing the kept secret branded the bribe offer as a dubious proposal. He said; ”Specifically, some errand boys from the Presidency at the time came to us with a dubious proposal that 50,000 agents of the PDP be fielded as TMG observers,” Zikirullahi said in a statement.
“In financial terms, the errand boys expressed the Presidency’s readiness to fund the fraud with the sum of N2 billion Naira.”
Fidelity Bank, which handled the disbursement of the funds, has already refunded the N49.7million profit it made from the deal while the EFCC is said to have recovered N408.7million from some of the beneficiaries of the slush funds.
The TMG said yesterday that it has now been “vindicated by the latest revelations from the EFCC about how some INEC chiefs and election monitors shared from N23.3 billion slush provided by former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison Madueke.”
It added:”With the realization that a good name is better than silver and gold, we stoutly rejected the Greek gift, just as we held our head high in defence of the truth and the best interest of Nigerians.
”The participants in this grand scale bazaar had only one objective: to subvert the electoral process, undermine the votes of the Nigerian people and rig in their paymaster.
“It is utterly shocking that people entrusted with the sacred and heavy responsibility of superintending the electoral process would descend so low to stake the credibility of a critical democratic institution on the altar of quick enrichment.
“In any case, the TMG had always known that the day of reckoning would come for all those who sought to exchange the sacred position they occupy for a mess of pottage.
“The bigger tragedy is the case of so-called civil society organizations which threw the very basis of their credibility as election observers to the dogs.
“We cannot mince words about the fact that these indicted INEC officials and their monetized co-conspirators masquerading as election observers have betrayed the nation.
“They are the unscrupulous elements who give the nation a bad name in the international community.
“It is, therefore, imperative for the EFCC to do a clinical investigation and ensure all those culpable are named, shamed and jailed.
“It is pertinent to recall that in the build-up to the 2015 elections, the TMG kept on announcing that there were anti-democratic forces heavily funded by filthy lucre from the immediate past Presidency which wanted to undermine the electoral process.
“We repeatedly warned all stakeholders to be on their guard in order to wade off all machinations bent on subverting the express wishes of Nigerians.
“It is also worthy to note that the TMG itself was not spared the excruciating pressure and inducement aimed at pushing us to compromise our position.
“For daring to turn down what the enemies of democracy termed, a “juicy” offer, the TMG was repeatedly vilified and persecuted by institutions of the state.
“Even after the elections, TMG Chairman, Comrade Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi, was severally trailed by unknown men, who obviously had sinister intentions.
“In the end, the TMG, as an organization, chose not to travel on the path of least resistance.
“As the chickens come home to roost with these weighty revelations from the EFCC, it is time to separate the patriots from the chaff both in civil society and in the INEC.
“For us, the INEC, as an institution, should immediately set up a far-reaching and transparent disciplinary process to make a public example of all those rotten elements who descended so low to drag the institution in the mud.
“It is only by implementing this process of thorough cleansing that INEC can begin the process of restoring public confidence.
“As for those weak characters in civil society, who decided to sell their conscience and shirk their responsibility to the Nigerian people, it is time to account.
“And because our vindication as a civil society coalition rings clear, all we can say is: let the music play and let the traitors who attempted to toy with the nation’s destiny face the melody.”