From Segun Amure, (The New Diplomat’s Abuja Bureau)
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has accused its incumbent National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus of mismanaging N10 billion generated by the party since he took charge and other PDP finances.
The PDP in a memo released, Tuesday, by its National Auditor, Mai Adamu Mustapha, alleged that Secondus’ mismanagement of the party’s funds has been the reason for the leadership crisis besetting the main opposition party in the country.
According to Mustapha, the PDP leadership under Secondus has blocked every attempt by the party’s Audit department to perform its statutory role, thereby leaving the party’s financials in mess.
The revelation has triggered uproar in the party as it was gathered that top leaders in the PDP are currently weighing options on sacking Secondus from his position, following the allegation of financial misdemeanor leveled against the PDP Chairman.
The lithany of allegations raised against Secondus by Mustapha in the memo include: his inability to account for N10 billion generated since he assumed the chairmanship position of the party; non-remittance of funds generated from the sales of form; membership cards; irregular award of contracts, over-bloated contract sum awarded up to the tune of N630 million for printing of congress documents; Securing a N500 million without approval by the party’s hierarchy among other allegations.
In addition, Mustapha also stated that internal control and the audit system in the PDP had been broken down since Secondus took over as the Chairman of the party.
Mustapha noted that it is impossible for an opposition party to go to battle with the sordid financial state the party is currently in.
The Audit memo reads: “When the audit environment is transverse, and couldn’t operate normally for whatever reason, then an alarm must be triggered. The purpose of this alarm is to bring to the notice of this NWC the inability of the Audit Department to perform its functions as enshrined by the constitution and the extant laws.
“To illustrate as example, the Audit Department was incapacitated by lack of access to the necessary in puts that will enable it to discharge its duties.
“For whatever reasons, there is no access to all financial transactions (cash inflows and outflows) documents Of the party like cashbooks, receipts. vouchers, registers cheques and bank statements etc. all of which are necessary input or pre-audit, due process, internal control, reconciliation as well as to draw up our Final Accounts, and all these necessary inputs are not available to the Audit Department.
“In order for the Audit to function there should be constant interaction and information flow between the Audit Department and all the arms of the party, unfortunately this has not been the practice.
“The inability of the Audit Department to discharge its functions has dire consequences to the party being the major opposition party, bearing in mind that this APC Government is vicious and desperate, so any infractions to financial and auditing practice Will be a handy tool to cause dire legal and political embarrassment.
“Honourable members, I have raised these issues and predicaments of the audit department severally in our various NWC meetings but to no avail.
“It is now three years plus, through the tenure of this NWC that there was no one single financial transaction that passed through the Audit from the inception of this NWC to date, despite the fact that the party has been undertaking financial transactions running into billions.
“The public domain knows that the PDP conducted the following from December 2017 to date:
- Forms were contracted, printed and sold through consultants.
- Series of procurements and services were transacted and paid.
- Congress and other activities were conducted and huge expenditures incurred.
- Consultants were engaged and paid.
- Statutory disbursement to zones and states from the proceeds of the sales of forms,
- Travels were undertaken in and out of Abuja.
- Proxy accounting for the sales of forms is illegal and unconstitutional (Section 55(1-3). The details of the operation of this proxy account was not known to the audit department and members of the NWC. The interest cost of 3% on this account has to be explained.
- From the inception of this NWC to date over NI0 billion was generated and unaccounted for.
- Non-competitive contract was assigned to print congress documents at the cost of N630 million. It is believed that the actual cost is much less than N150 million if competitively decided by the NWC.
- A loan of N500 million was obtained without approval and paid with interest. The constitution section S3(1) and 54(1-4) and 58(L) (a) & (d) this issue was echoed by the Gov. H-E Udom Emmanuel committee on “garnishee” reported to the NEC in November, 2020.
Sale of last congress forms and membership cards which is in billions was not accounted for.
Honourable members it will interest you to know that:
a. All the above took place without involving the audit department.
b. There were not any cash/bank reconciliations known to the audit department since department 2017.
c. No fixed assets register maintained that will keep records of all the PDP assets e.g land and building, vehicles, generators, furniture etc.
d. No adequate record of the parties Liabilities e.g. utilities, taxes, Insurances and other accruals.
“All the above issues were highlighted and copies of my 2017/2018 management reports were issued to the relevant members of the management, voluntarily and nothing has changed.
Upon the above complaints, he thus prayed:
“The audit department is in an uncomfortable position which is unhealthy for efficient, effective and smooth management of the parry,” the memo stated.
Mustapha added that the memo seeks to redress all the issues raised against Prince Uchena Secondus-led administration of the PDP since 2017.
Recall that Secondus emerged Chairman, PDP in 2017.
Before his appointment, Secondus has held the chairmanship position of Rivers State PDP for two consecutive terms.
He had also served as the South South Campaign Coordinator for the PDP National Campaign Council (2007) and also, National Organising Secretary in 2008.