The national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Adams Oshiomhole was detained and interrogated by the operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) for over nine hours on Sunday.
TheCable reports that the DSS grilled Oshiomhole for allegedly receiving bribes during the APC primary elections held in October.
The DSS, it was gathered, acted on the allegations by some APC governors that the party’s chairman received some money from them.
A source said the DSS asked Oshiomhole to resign during interrogation.
But Oshiomhole resisted the pressure to resign, saying he would only do so if he loses the confidence of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The APC chairman told the DSS that the president was in the know of every action he took during the party’s primaries and would have objected if he had violated any law.
The source said: “Adams Oshiomhole was arrested by the DSS; they didn’t show him any petition. It was alleged by some governors that he collected bribe during the primaries.
“He was told to resign and he told DSS operatives that he will resign if he loses the confidence of the president. He said everything the party did, he (Buhari) was in the know.
“The irony, though, is that the cases of Lagos and Zamfara in which he allegedly collected bribe from the governors did not end in favour of the governors, so what sense does that make?”
Another source said the president expressed shock at the governors’ move, saying he was not aware of the development.
“On Monday night Oshiomhole met with the president and briefed him on what happened and the president was shocked. The president said he did not know about it and promised to look into it,” the source said.
It would be recalled that the party’s primaries were marred by controversies that have refused to go away.
The Oshiomhole-led national working committee is at war with governors Abdul ‘Aziz Yari (Zamfara), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) and Rochas Okorocha (IMO) over their inability to foist their preferred governorship candidates on the party.
In Zamfara, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said the party will not participate in the 2019 polls because it could not successfully conclude its primary before the deadline.
In Imo, the APC favoured the governorship candidacy of the senator representing Imo West, Mr. Hope Uzodimma, over Okorocha’s son-in-law, Mr. Uche Nwosu.
Amosun fell out with the party’s NWC after it chose Mr. Dapo Abiodun as the state’s gubernatorial candidate instead of the governor’s preferred candidate, Mr. Abiodun Akinlade
However, spokesman for the party, Mr. Lanre Issa-Onilu said he was not in the know of any encounter between Oshiomhole and the DSS operatives in Abuja last weekend.
“We do not have any information on this rumour. More so, the chairman is not around in the country to confirm or deny this. As soon as we have any relevant information, you’ll be updated,” he said.
Issa-Onilu, however, admitted that Oshiomhole could not embark on his trip last weekend in view of the need to ensure that the party beat the November 2 deadline for the submission of names of candidates.
He disclosed that Oshiomhole eventually travelled out of the country on November 6.
In its reaction, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) described as reprehensible, revelations that President Muhammadu Buhari is concealing the alleged bribery and corrupt practices involving Oshiomhole.
The party, in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said it was privy to “the pressure from the Buhari presidency on the DSS, which reportedly detained and grilled Oshiomhole, to let him off the hook for fears that his investigation will unearth the complicity of the presidency and other key APC members in the scam.”
“Information available to the PDP reveals that Oshiomhole is facing charges of allegedly collecting billions of naira bribes from some ministers and other APC sources in Adamawa, Rivers, Kano and Imo states to manipulate the 2019 electoral process.
“This is in addition to allegedly collecting billions of naira from presidency sources to influence electoral officers, independent observers and certain polling organizations ahead of the 2019 election, part of which was allegedly diverted for personal use of some APC leaders.”
The PDP said it had always alerted Nigerians of the corruption allegation burden on the APC chairman and the continued official cover provided for him by the Buhari presidency.
“If the Buhari Presidency has nothing to hide; if it is not complicit in the alleged scam, it should allow the DSS and EFCC a free hand to investigate and prosecute his party’s factional chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, particularly now that all issues are laid bare before Nigerians.
“As long as the DSS and the EFCC are not allowed to put Oshiomhole into the dock, the Buhari presidency does not have the moral rectitude to speak on corruption,” said the party.