The spokesman for the Presidential Campaign Organisation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has debunked the story doing the round that he collected a whooping sum of N1.7 billion from the embattled ex-National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd.) to run the campaign.
The statement he issued and signed in Abuja yesterday was his swift reaction to a story published by SAHARA REPORTERS. He said “I have never received one kobo from President Jonathan himself, Colonel Dasuki or any other member of President Jonathan’s government.”
Dasuki and some prominent leaders of the opposition PDP are under investigation over alleged misappropriation of $2.1 billion under the watch of the immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan whom Fani-Kayode presided over his campaign organisation.
Fani-Kayode said he was never given N1.7 billion cash by President Goodluck Jonathan or by Dasuki while the campaign lasted.
He said: “I have never received one kobo from President Jonathan himself, Colonel Dasuki or any other member of President Jonathan’s government. 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.
“As Director of Media and Publicity of the Jonathan/Sambo Campaign organisation I received money on behalf of the Directorate of Media and Publicity which I headed from private individuals and companies during the election campaigns but these were not public funds but rather private contributions specifically for the Presidential and other campaigns.
He said that such monies were released 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 whole country and his directorate.
“These private individuals and companies paid their contributions into a designated account which was provided and controlled by the Director of Finance and from there she transferred it to the accounts of the various Directors and various individuals that were running for public office that the PCO supported”.
Former Aviation Minister forcefully defended and justified the management of money released to him for the campaign and reminded his traducers that presidential campaign in Nigeria, as in other countries, was capital intensive.
“The money that was sent to me for my Directorate by the Director of Finance was used in a lawful and responsible manner and by the time the campaigns were over my Directorate had paid all of its bills for services rendered and was not owing any media house or anyone else one kobo.
“The Presidential candidate of our party President Goodluck Jonathan, the D-G of the PCO, the Auditor of the PCO, the Advisor to the PCO and the Director of Finance of the PCO all received reports and saw the results of the efforts of my Directorate. Not only were they satisfied with our efforts but they also commended us.
“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”.
He also argued that both his party, PDP and the then opposition party, APC, now the ruling party, used the same methods in the historical poll that brought defeat to the former and unprecedented victory to the latter.
“This is especially so when it comes to publicity and media. My Directorate was difficult to run and our work was capital intensive. We did not use marsh-mellows, pebbles and grass to pay for all the services rendered to us and all the television and newspaper adverts were fully paid for with 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”.