The director, media and publicity of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organisation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has said he did not receive the sum of N1.7 billion from former President Goodluck Jonathan or former National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki as reported by Sahara Reporters.
He said he had never been in receipt of any public funds and neither was he the beneficiary of any payments in cash, transfer, cheque or otherwise from any government official during the tenure of President Jonathan.
In a statement Wednesday, the former aviation minister said as the director, media and publicity of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, he only received money on behalf of the Directorate of Media and Publicity from private individuals and companies during the election campaigns .
He said such monies were transfered into his account by the Director of Finance of the Presidential Campaign Organisation and that the account was specifically set up for the purpose of running the publicity and media aspect of the campaign for the entire country.
He said the money that was sent to him for his Directorate by the Director of Finance was used in a lawful and responsible manner and by the time the campaigns were over the Directorate had paid all of its bills for services rendered and was not owing any media house or anyone else.
He added that the encounter with the APC was an epic one and probably, the most active and gruelling electoral battle in the history of Nigeria, stressing that public funds were not given to his directorate for campaigns.
"I read with amusement the allegation that was made in saharareporters, the unofficial media wing of the Buhari administration, the SSS and the EFCC, that I was given 1.7 billion naira cash by President Goodluck Jonathan. This is false. A few hours later, they changed their story and said that I received 1.7 billion naira from the office of the former NSA, Colonel Sambo Dasuki. This is also false.
"I have not ever been in receipt of any public funds and neither was I the beneficiary of any payments in cash, transfer, cheque or otherwise from any government official during the tenure of President Jonathan.
"Not one kobo of public funds was spent by or given to my Directorate during the campaign and as far as I am aware not one kobo of public funds was spent by or given to the PCO. Presidential campaigns all over the world cost huge amounts of money and Nigeria is no different.
"No election campaign anywhere in the world, including that of President Buhari was run with just words, goodwill, grass and pebbles and neither were we given free campaign adverts or air time. All these things were run and paid for with large sums of money.
"Nothing was done or given to us free of charge by anyone. This should not be a surprise to anyone as the APC and President Buhari's campaign organisation did the same. I opened an account specifically for the funds that were used to run my Directorate and fund all our activities in order to ensure accountability and transparancy.
"We also audited our accounts regularly and insisted on the highest level of professionalism from all those that worked for or with us. Since when such matters have become a crime or subjects of criminal investigations I don't know. If it was a crime to speak up for Jonathan during the campaign they should just say so.
"If it is a crime to be a member of the PDP and to be in oppositon they should just say so. If it is a crime to speak up for and defend President Jonathan and key members of his government after he has left office they should just say so. If it is a crime to oppose the Buhari administration and speak up against his gross violations of human rights that they are indulging in and the violation of court orders they should just say so," Fani-Kayode said.
Source: Daily Trust