The media sub-committee of the APC convention planning committee has described as strange and totally false news the media report that the sub-committee spent N800 million on the party convention.
The media sub-committee was headed by Governor Abdullahi Sulaiman of Nassarawa and co-chaired by Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture.
The secretary of the subcommittee, who is also the president’s media assistant for media and publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement on Saturday in Abuja condemned the report, saying the subcommittee had only received 100 million naira.
He revealed that initially the sub-committee submitted a budget of 360 million naira but 100 million naira was approved.
The statement read in part: “The Daily Telegraph’s report that the media subcommittee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) convention planning committee, led by Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nassarawa, co-chaired by Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, has spent a whopping N800 million is strange news, totally untrue.
“If this huge sum of money was spent on media work at the convention, we are bold in saying that we don’t know and still don’t know what, who, when and how it was spent.
“The sub-committee, of which I was the secretary, got only the total sum of 100 million naira. We thank the governor for offering us the venue, tea and coffee.
We have submitted a budget of around N360 million.
“When the finance sub-committee said that even the 100 million naira we had paid exceeded our budget allocation, we backed down, canceling commitments duly made for billboards, documentary production, advertisements on streetlights and many other things.
“Some we could undo, others were irreversible.
“Upon assurances from our executives, we negotiated a pledge to the TV networks for live coverage, with everyone agreeing it was a must for the convention.
“At the very end, we were only able to pay half of this sum to each of the stations, hoping that the party leadership will take care of the payment of the balances due as a matter of honor.”
According to him, the expense sheet representing the 100 million naira and the detailed report of the work of the sub-committee have since been sent to the party and shared with the committee leaders and its members.
He said that as part of this work, all third-party payments were made by a member of the committee in the presence of at least two other members, saying it was in order to overcome the scandal.
“Given the startling revelation of the money allegedly spent by our committee in this report, we strongly suspect that our account, given to the party, detailing each of our expenditures, may have been the trigger for the ongoing investigation and reported suspensions.
“In any event, we absolutely agree with the ongoing investigation into the finances of the convention.
“To convince anyone that the party is ready to continue the nation-cleansing led by the Muhammadu Buhari administration, they must first clean their own house.
“On this point, we stand with former governor Abdullahi Adamu, the new president, as he leads this exercise. Nothing should be hidden under the rug,” he further argued. (NAN)