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Ayu returns to Nigeria as bribery allegation festers

Iyorchia Ayu, national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Friday returned to the country after a two-week trip to Europe.

Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, had accused Ayu of receiving N1 billion under questionable circumstances from a presidential hopeful during the PDP primaries.

Simon Imobo-Tswam, special adviser to the national chairman on media, disclosed this in a statement he issued in Abuja.

Imobo-Tswam said Ayu, who jetted out of the country on September 14, returned to Abuja via Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, around 7 pm.

Wike and some party members in his camp have been demanding the resignation of the national chairman to pave way for the emergence of a southerner as chairman of the party since Atiku Abubakar, PDP presidential candidate, hails from the north as Ayu.

Wike’s group believes that it will balance the lopsidedness in the leadership of the party.

On Thursday, some members of the national working committee (NWC) of party, returned over N120 million to Ayu.

The funds ranging from N28 million to N36 million were recently paid into their accounts and tagged as “housing allowance” or “house rent”.

In separate letters addressed to Ayu, four NWC members said it became necessary to return the money after a backlash from the media accusing them of taking bribes.

The NWC members who returned the money are the national vice-chairman (south-west) Olasoji Adagunodo; deputy national chairman (south) Taofeek Arapaja; the national vice-chairman(south), Dan Orbih, and the national woman leader, Stella Affah-Attoe.

While Arapaja got N36 million, Adagunodo and Orbih and Effah-Attoe got N28.8 million each.

The national chairman was abroad when Atiku inaugurated the 600-member presidential campaign council for the 2023 elections.

Ayu is a member of the council.

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