North not Afraid of restructuring – Yakassai

Yakassai Chairman, Northern Elders Forum, NEF, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, indicted of collecting N53 million from the $2.1billion arms scandal, has finally released details of how his group disbursed the money to benefiting members including Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, for alleged electioneering campaign purposes.
Alhaji Yakassai, while speaking to journalists in Kaduna confirmed that a former Chairman of Peoples democratic party, PDP, Board of Trustees, BoT, Chief Tony Anenih, spent his money on the assignment on the instruction of then President Goodluck Jonathan.
The former presidential adviser said that he is making the details available to the world to correct the misinformation in the public domain that the funds made available to his group was part of the $2.1 billion arms deal.
Many PDP leaders had questioned the impropriety of the conclusions of the investigation into the activities in the office of the National Security Adviser, NSA, which claimed that some individuals received funds without contracts or that contracts were awarded without documentation. Indeed, that some of the contracts awarded were bogus, fictitious and unrealisable.
Apparently to douse the doubting Thomases, Names of those who allegedly collected funds from the office of the NSA have already been published.
Against this backdrop – just as Anenih had made it clear that he was not in a position to ask President Jonathan, where funds for the repayment of campaign costs he had incurred would
come from – Yakassai gave blow by blow breakdown of the expenditure.
Accordingly, the breakdown of the expenditure profile by the
Yakassai group indicated that there is an outstanding balance of N16 million yet to be claimed.
Yakassai, who made the document of the breakdown available to newsmen stated as follows:
“Please find below full statement of the expenses incurred during our tour of 17 northern states and the FCT, sponsored by Chief Tony Anenih, on the directive of former President Goodluck Jonathan from January 14 to February 14, 2015.”
According to Yakassai, “States visited were Sokoto, Kebbi,
Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa, Zamfara, Katsina, Nasarawa, Kogi, Niger, Ilorin, Benue, Plateau, Adamawa, Taraba, Bauchi and Gombe”.
He identified members of his team as Alhaji Sule Iyaji;
Senator Abubakar D. Sodangi; Ambassador M.Z. Anka; Chief
John Mankilik; Alhaji Sulaiman Lawal; Dr. Luka Bahago; and
Barrister Bitrus Gwadah, Personal Assistant, with himself as team leader.
The elder statesman said members’ allowance was put at N250, 000, for eight members for 21 days came to N42,000,000.
He disclosed that return tickets for Abuja-Sokoto, Abuja-Kano, Abuja-Ilorin, Abuja-Yola/Jallingo Abuja-Bauchi/Gombe plane trips were at a cost of N50,000 and the total came to N2,250,000.
Yakassai put hotel accommodation of N30,000 per night for nine persons for five nights.
Yakassai further said payments to personal assistants was N20,000 per person, while the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, delegation from Plateau State, which visited Anenih, got N2,000,000.
By the standards of those involved, Yakassai suggested
that the expenditure pattern was modest.
However, like the former PDP BoT Chairman said of the
outstanding funds yet to be paid to him, the NEF Chairman put the outstanding claims for his assignment at N16, 850,000.
The breakdown for this, according to Yakassai, is as
follows: Car hire for seven persons for 25 days at N50,000 totals N8,750,000, accommodation at other places N6,000,000 and Plateau Special Delegation got N2,100,000.
He said the idea behind the release of the details of the
expenses of his committee was “just for the record.”
Already, tongues have been wagging regarding the intention behind the names published as co-conspirators in the arms scandal as some PDP leaders insist that funds allocated to them were for campaign purposes and no one asked where the funds were being sourced from.
However, a question that was put to elder Yakassai by Nigerian pilot but was not answered read in parts “Elder sir, your contention is very clear, that the N53m was strictly for election purposes, and came through Tony Aninih. Any hope of getting the N16m bal.. And how much was spent on publicity because you couldn’t have exercise election campaign as you claimed without any form of publicity, sincerely speaking. Pls clarify us. Bureau Chief Nigerian pilot. I’ll appreciate if you can be urgent to enable us meet our deadline.”
For obvious reason this question was yet to be answered before press time by the most respected elder statesman.

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