- He Is Fighting Sheriff To Cover Up – Bwala
- I Used The Money For The Good Of PDP – Gana
A N500 million facility obtained from Skye Bank Plc, under the pretence of using it as seed money for the purpose of raising funds for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, by former
Information Minister and PDP stalwart, Professor Jerry Gana is now causing ripples
as Gana fights hard to extricate himself from blames in a suit before the courts.
Available records with nationalTRAIL reveal that, in order to fund the activities towards the fund raising dinner of 20th December, 2014, the former Information minister sought and obtained the facility, with the promise of paying back with the proceeds generated from the fund raising dinner immediately, but without recourse to the procedures approved for seeking such facilities by the bank. The bank went ahead to seize funds belonging to the party after Gana defaulted..
Although Professor Gana has denied the allegation contained in the statement of claims, he admitted to certain paragraphs in the statement of claim to the effect that he acted for and on behalf of PDP which was the host of the fund raising and that the committee he headed had authorized the overdraft facility.
While attempting to explain his role in the controversial N500 million bank loan which he joined others to obtain in the name of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in early 2015, the former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana failed to respond to claims made by the bank that he last withdrawal from the overdraft account was approved vide a letter from him on the letter head of the PDP on 23rd December, 2014.
The PDP had denied ever authorizing Gana and even accused him of unilaterally collecting the facility on behalf of the party without approval, and threatening to drag the professor before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for questioning. Gana, responding to questions said it was the leadership of the party at the time that mandated him to source for funds to enable the party organise fund raising dinner and other activities for Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential campaign.
Paragraph 24 of the Plaintiff statement of claim reads “ The plaintiff’s managing director was therefore surprise and embarrassed when he was accosted by about 5 staff of the 6th defendant on November 16th, 2014 and was served a demand letter, dated same day, mandating the plaintiff to liquidate the sum of N497,242,020.00 being the outstanding debit on the N500,000,000.00 overdraft facility account within 7 days.” This was believed to be the issue that has been causing disaffection between the Jerry Gana group and the Sheriff elements within the party.
In his statement denying the allegations, he said, “As chairman of the fund raising committee, I was mandated by the party leadership to raise funds and I had the party’s National Financial Secretary and others as members.
Gana claimed in his defence that, the then National Working Committee was briefed on his plans to source the facility with the name of the PDP and he was given the go ahead to obtain the loan on behalf of the party, with the agreement to pay back from the money expected to be realised from the fund raising.
“But after losing the election, leading to the resignation of the former chairman, Dr. Adamu Mu’azu, the party leadership under Mr Uche Secondus refused to pay back the money as earlier agreed, stressing that, the issue of repayment was what led to the crisis and the bank has already taken the matter to court. The money was used by the committee for what it was meant for and account was dully rendered.
However, paragraph 19 of the 2nd defendant statement (Prof. Jerry Gana) stated, “ That the 2nd defendant in his capacity as the Chairman of the 1st defendant’s fund raising committee acted on behalf of the 1st defendant at all material times with respect to the transaction leading to the obtaining of the N500,000,000 (five hundred million Naira) facility which is the subject matter of this suit.”
Sheriff’s Media Adviser told reporters at the party secretariat earlier that, Jerry Gana was opposing the national Chairman of the party to cover up his ignoble roles in the squander of the fortunes of the party, challenging Jerry Gana to publicly defend the N500 million mess. He also said that the group led by the former minister was coming up with different gimmicks to divert attention from the effects of what they did in the past leading to the squandering of the fortunes of the party.
“Unfortunately, among such groups are self-styled elders and stakeholders led by Professor Jerry Gana. I have seen him sweating on television, playing with language but at the end of the day saying nothing.
“I want to specifically say we kept sealed lips about some of the activities of this man believing that we could still find a rendezvous at which we could work together for the progress of the PDP. I must say, and there are witnesses that this is one character that attempts to play a role in every government since the time of the military,
“We know the very ignoble roles that he played that led to the PDP being defeated in the last election. These were the same characters that deceived President Jonathan into failure. Unfortunately most of them still go round to ask the chairman of one favour or the other and when the chairman declines they take offence against him.
“I know as a fact that Prof. Jery Gana has written to the national chairman to allow him nominate some people into certain committees or allow them perform certain functions for the party. Whether these requests were granted or not is immaterial. But that is perhaps one of the reasons that he has taken the position against anything this man does. This is the same man that recognized the national chairman, writing to him on the need to submit the report on the finance committee which he headed.
“The chairman has been running away from receiving that report because it is on record that the same Jerry Gana on behalf of the party without using the machinery of the party collected the sum of N500million loan from Skye bank on behalf of the PDP for which the PDP has been dragged to court and is being compelled to pay back.
“Leaders of thought in this party including some elders have prevailed on the chairman not to make this matter known and to save this man from public embarrassment. But as it is the chairman may be left with no option than to drag Jerry Gana before the EFCC to explain his role in obtaining N500 million facility on behalf of the party and let him also explain what he has done with the money”, Mr. Inuwa said.
In apparent display of leadership the National Chairman later apologized to Gana over the exposition by Governor Nyeson Wike and Inuwa Bwala, to the effect that while he takes responsibility for what may have transpired, it was done without his authorization.
He personally visited the former minister in his house to apologize to him, only for Jerry Gana to return to the trenches, opposing Sheriff’s leadership.