Ayu denies receiving N1 billion from aspirant, admits collecting N100 million from PDP governor

Iyorchia Ayu, the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has denied the bribery allegation that he received the sum of N1 billion from a presidential aspirant of the opposition party.

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State made the allegation, challenging the Mr Ayu to deny receiving the funds and he will reveal who gave him the money he was said to have received in Lagos.

Mr Wike who wants the opposition chief to step down from his position reiterated the claim in a recent media chat in Port Harcourt where he alleged again that Mr Ayu received N100 million from a sitting governor, all of which were not paid into the account of the party.

The Rivers State helmsman also said if he should expose all he knows about him, the children of the embattled chairman will disown their father.

Addressing newsmen on Friday after the end of a special Board of Trustees (BoT) meeting of the party in Abuja, Mr Ayu who acknowledged receiving the N100 million, denied he collected N1 billion from a presidential aspirant of the party that the governor refused to name.

He explained that when he resumed office as chairman, Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the party, suggested he takes loan to run the affairs of the party but the suggestion was rejected by the National Working Committee (NWC) under his leadership.

“When my BoT chairman talks, I am not supposed to say anything more. But since these allegations have persisted, I want to use this opportunity to clear the air. When the first allegation was made about the N1bn, I decided not to respond because we don’t want to cause altercations in the party,” Mr Ayu said. “However, I want to make it clear that at no time did I, as the national chairman of this party, collect any N1bn from anybody.

“So, I state that I never collected N1bn from anybody. Also, the N100m that was donated by one of the governors has been judiciously used for the purpose (for which) it was given. In the next few weeks, we will be inviting all party leaders, including members of the press, for the inauguration of the PDI.

“When we came in and the party had funding difficulties, the current presidential candidate suggested that the party should take a loan of N1bn from a bank. The owner of that bank was also an influential member of this party. He has left the party now.

“When we discussed it with him, we discarded the idea and the party never took any loan or any money from anybody. I, as a person, never collected N1bn from anybody. Any money advanced to the party was declared before the National Working Committee and handed over to the national treasurer of the party.

“Luckily, I had fully briefed the board that one of our governors made a contribution of N100m to the revival of the Peoples Democratic Institute, which was housed in a portakabin. And we explained to them that we hired an appropriate place in Asokoro; we have renovated it and furnished it.

“Two or three days ago, we went there to inspect the place and the NWC decided that even before inauguration, we should invite the governor in question to come and inspect what we have done with his money. I am happy to state that the national secretary of the party has since written a letter to that governor.

“So, it is not true. Neither I nor the NWC ever took any money belonging to the party to carry out the renovation. In fact, we have not even exhausted that N100m, which was donated by one of the governors.”

Mr Ayu also called on Governor Wike to leave his family members out of the issues in the party.

“The consistent attacks on my person since the end of the (special) convention on May 31 are deliberate and unfortunate. I have restrained myself from reacting. As the father of the party, I felt that I should encourage reconciliation,” he said. “But where it touches on my personal integrity, of which even my own family members are brought into play, it is incumbent upon me to reply.”