A source privy to the deal spoke exclusively to SaharaReporters in Abuja on Friday.
According to the source, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, singlehandedly gave the money to Farouk Adamu. He said Adamu collected the cash in Abuja on behalf of Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He revealed that the sum of N50million was offered to the Assistant Publicity Secretary of the party, Yekini Nabena, by Uba Sani, which he turned down. The source also noted that Nabena had issued several press statements that Shehu Sani remained the only candidate cleared for the zone, and Nabena had insisted he would only do what the National Working Committee (NWC) asked him to do, as he had no power to upturn their decision.
Hadiza, however, threatened to do everything possible to stop Shehu Sani from getting the automatic ticket, whether the NWC liked it or not.
SaharaReporters gathered that after the failure of a series of attempts by the proxies to get Nabena’s cooperation, Hadiza decided to channel it through Farouk, who collected the cash.
The source also narrated how the Governor El-Rufai slept in the National Chairman’s office, and threatened to pitch tent with Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), if Shehu Sani’s name was submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the APC candidate for Kaduna Central Senatorial District.
Farouk, who headed a presidential committee on the APC primaries, collected the money without the knowledge of other members. Members of the committee include Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu; Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
“He ignored the report of the committee and took charge of making phone calls to senators to inform them who made the list and who did not. Why is it that those who got the tickets have not come out to defend Oshiomhole against the myriad of allegations of bribery levelled against him?” the source queried.
Investigations revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to Sani Mustapha, the senator representing Niger South Senatorial District, to return to the party.
Mustapha had announced his resignation from the party on October 22, 2018, stating that his decision to leave the party was due to the injustice done to him by the substitution of his name with that of Bima Mohammed, who was not cleared by the panel.
According to information obtained by SaharaReporters, the president has asked him to go to court to challenge the injustice, and promised that he would get his (president’s) support.
“As I am talking to you now, Senator Sani Mustapha has returned to APC and gone to court to challenge the manipulation of the results of the primaries,” the source revealed.
The backlash that followed the bribery allegations levelled against Oshiomhole compelled his Chief Press Secretary, Simon Ebegbulem, to issue a statement on Thursday, in which Oshiomhole threatened to take legal action against further allegations.
However, Nabena has asked Ebegbulem to stop the media propaganda and face the reality on ground, as it had affected the party negatively.
He stated this while reacting to a statement on the Whatsapp group platform of APC Press Corps.
“Simon, please stop all this media propaganda and face the reality on ground; the damages affecting the party,” he wrote.
Some members of the National Working Committee are said to be pleased with the fact that the amount allegedly paid by the candidates to Oshiomhole is in public domain. A member, who preferred not to be named, said many of the committee members were oblivious of those deals, as they were sidelined from the beginning of the entire process.