The Board of Trustees (BoT) of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has challenged the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike or any other member with proof of corruption against members of a committee set up by the Board to investigate issues surrounding the emergence of Mr. Ndudi Elumelu and others as opposition leaders at the House of Representatives.
Ndidu Elumelu had emerged Minority Leader against the choice of the leadership of the PDP, which favoured another member from Rivers State, Mr. Kingsley Chinda.
Wike, who was also opposed to Elumelu’s emergence, has accused the committee members of having succumbed to corrupt influences with the view to slanting their report to favour Elumelu.
The BoT committee, which was set up on July 9, had a Third Republic President of the Senate, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu as chairman. Other members are Senator David Mark, Senator Adolphus Wabara, Senator Ibrahim Mantu.
A former Deputy Reps Speaker, Austin Opara served as secretary.
All the committee members are members of the BoT.
But reacting to Wike’s accusations, the Chairman of the BoT, Senator Walid Jubril, said the mere submission of a report by the committee did not imply issuing a clean bill of health to Elumelu and other members of the House of Representatives who turned against the party’s choice.
He also challenged any member of the party with proof of allegations against any member of the committee to speak out instead of casting aspersions on the members.
The BoT chairman said the Board will meet next Thursday to deliberate on the committee’s report and take a decision.
Senator Jubril said, “I will not condemn any member of the committee without any proof of evidence of corruption. I challenge anybody any where to provide proof of the allegations of corruption.
“He who alleges must show evidence of corruption. It is not enough to accuse anyone of any wrong doing. I call on anyone, both party members or non-party members to come forward with evidence of corruption and you will see what the BoT will do.”
The BoT chair enjoined aggrieved party members to take advantage of the existing internal conflict resolution mechanism to table their grievances, instead of spreading unfounded allegations.
Also reacting to the governor’s allegations, a member of the committee, Wabara said it would be premature to join issues with Wike, as the BoT had yet to discuss or take a decision on the report.
“But permit me to make it abundantly clear to our performing Governor of Rivers State that Wabara is not corrupt and that I do not think that all the other distinguished members of this committee are.
“We are experienced and tested authorities on legislative matters and the unity of our great party without concealed interest in 2023 was paramount.
“I will not unwittingly discuss the content of the report on the pages of newspapers until the BoT takes a decision on the recommendations of the Ayu committee report,” Wabara said.
The spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the issue was an “internal affair of the party and that the matter was being resolved”.
Wike had, on Wednesday, said, “The committee set up by the PDP on the illegal emergence of Ndudi Elumelu is the most corrupt committee ever set up by the party.
“We thank our worthy son, Rt Hon Austin Opara, for withdrawing from that committee, so that he is not entangled in the illegal activities of the tainted committee.”
Wike’s reaction followed Opara’s resignation as secretary of the committee.