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N800m publicity budget: Garba Shehu backs probe of APC convention finances

The Media Subcommittee of the Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has expressed support for the ongoing probe of the convention finances…

The Media Subcommittee of the Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has expressed support for the ongoing probe of the convention finances by the leadership of the ruling party.

The Secretary of the Subcommittee, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement issued Saturday, said the report in a national newspaper (not Daily Trust) that the Media Subcommittee led by Abdullahi Sule, the Governor of Nassarawa State, co-chaired by Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, spent a whopping amount of N800 million was “strange news, totally untrue.”

He said the expenses sheet accounting for N100 million and the detailed report of the work by the subcommittee has since been sent to the party and shared with the committee leaders and its membership.

“In view of the astonishing revelation of the money allegedly spent by our committee in this report, we strongly suspect that our account, rendered to the party, detailing out every of our expenses may have been the trigger for the ongoing investigation and the reported suspensions.

“Whatever be the case, we are absolutely in support in the ongoing probe into the convention finances.
“To convince anyone that the party is ready to continue with the cleansing of the nation being carried out by the Muhammadu Buhari administration, it must first cleanse its own house.

“On this, we stand with former Governor Abdullahi Adamu, the new Chairman as he carries out this exercise. Nothing should be hidden under the carpet,” Shehu added.

The statement titled ‘APC Media Subcommittee Didn’t Know, See, or Hear about N800 million Expenses’ further read: “If that huge amount of money was spent on media work at the convention, we make bold to say that we were, and still are unaware of the what, who, when and how it was expended.

“The Subcommittee, which I served as Secretary got the total sum of N100 Million only. We thank the Governor for giving us venue, tea and coffee. We submitted a budget of about N360 Million. When the Finance Subcommittee told that even the N100 paid us was in excess of our budgetary allocation, we scrambled backwards, canceling commitments duly entered into for billboards, production of documentaries, lamp pole ads and so many other things. Some we could cancel, others were irreversible.

“On the assurances given by our leaders, we negotiated a token of commitment to TV networks for Live Coverage, with everyone agreeing that was a must-do for the convention. At the very end, we could only pay half of that amount to each of the stations, hoping that the leadership of the party will take responsibility for the payment of the balances due as a matter of honor….

“In the course of doing this work, all payments to third parties were done by a committee member in the presence of at least two other members. This was in a bid to rise above scandal.”

Penultimate Friday, the National Chairman of the APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, ordered all departmental directors at the party headquarters to proceed on an indefinite suspension.

Some of the departments affected include Administration, Organisation, Welfare, Strategy, Legal and Publicity.

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