Jonathan Demands Refund of N2trn Election Campaign Funds, Audit of PDP
Following the defeat suffered by President Goodluck Jonathan and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, during the March 28 and April 11 elections, the President has asked the party and government officials who handled campaign funds to refund monies not spent, or those not judiciously expended, SUNDAY PUNCH can authoritatively report.
Jonathan, credible sources said, has also set up a committee of five to get those with the funds to return them.
Sources within the party and government told our correspondents that President Jonathan was disturbed that despite giving campaign coordinators, ministers, special advisers, close aides and friends, support groups and traditional rulers over N2trn in cash, most of them could not deliver their polling booths and local governments.
The President was said to have been further irked by the results of an investigation he ordered. The probe showed that some coordinators used campaign funds to buy very expensive properties, especially in Abuja, and luxury cars. Some of the funds have also been traced to the bank accounts of senior party and government officials who were charged with the disbursement of funds to voters and groups.
A reliable source within the Presidency told our correspondents that one of the President, who recently admitted to a few close aides that it would be difficult to retrieve all the funds, was bent on getting senior party and government officials who received funds to account for all monies collected.
The source who is a close associate of the president said monies given to traditional rulers in different parts of the country, for example, would not be demanded for. But the source was quick to add that the President was determined to get his ministers, close aides and special advisers to make refunds.
He said, “Some ministers did not get less than N20bn each. None of them can deny it because this fact isn’t hidden within government circles. The only problem with such monies is that there is no receipt to show that they collected money. The sad part is that almost all of them performed woefully. Even in the states where the PDP won, some ministers could not deliver 100,000 votes. They could not mobilise their people to come out. The President is not happy. They all went property and car shopping. This was the most expensive election in the history of this country, yet there was no result.