A clergyman, Pastor Kallamu Ali Dikwa, alleged at the weekend that he was paid N1 million by the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to keep mute and withdraw his petition on the controversial N7 billion allegedly paid to the association by former President Goodluck Jonathan 2015 Campaign Organisation.
But in a swift reaction, CAN President, Dr. Supo Ayokunle, said the allegation was a mere fabrication which any mature person should dismiss, adding that he had never given any money out to any individual since he assumed office three months ago as CAN president.
Dikwa, who claimed to have been working with CAN since 2004, told reporters in Kaduna that he was not out to defame or embarrass anybody, but to let the world know that CAN leaders should not be using that office for material gains.
“If as religious body, CAN cannot stand for truth, then Nigeria will continue to cripple. Buhari will never succeed in his fight against corruption if religion leaders can’t key in,” he said.
When asked how he got to know and whether he had any valid proof about the alleged N7 billion, he said: “I don’t have the documents on how the money was handed over to CAN, but I have my confidants who were there then and documents on how it was shared. For instance, TEKAN/ECWA was given N50 million.
“I, Pastor Dikwa, still maintain my position on the N7 billion campaign money that was given to CAN and about nine Toyota Jeeps which were shared and distributed among themselves. On the 17th of March 2015, I was forced at the Department of State Security to say that information I gave about the money was false. I was also forced to write an undertaking that I would refrain from peddling such information.
“This was after a letter written by CAN on 20th February, 2015, to DSS on ‘complaints against Kallamu Musa Ali Dikwa for false information, defamation of character and mischief likely to cause a breach of public peace’ which led to my arrest and torture for about nine hours by the DSS.
“It was after my detention that I wrote to ICPC and EFCC complaining of what I was going through and the need for their necessary actions. EFCC responded to me through a text message by one Mr. Ola Oji, from its Abuja office in December, last year, ‘Please be informed that we have vetted your petition to the Commission and found it to be civil. Consequently, we decline investigation into same. You may wish to file an action in court against the subject please.’
Continuing, he said: “I went to court to challenge my arrest and torture. While the court case was going on, CAN leadership offered me some monetary enticement in the sum of N1 million in order to withdraw the petition and the matter in court through my bank details. I did that to trap them and to prove the authentication of what is going on. It is on record that on 21st of September 2016, CAN, through its lawyer, Barr. Samuel Kwamkur, texted me a piece through my mobile line to copy and write to ICPC as my opinion.
“In my letter to ICPC, dated 29th September 2016, ‘monetary enticement by the leadership of CAN to withdraw my petition against them,’ I said ‘sir, earlier on, concerning the sum of N7 billion collected by CAN leadership, the sum of the N50 million was given to TEKAN/ECWA bloc. I did get in touch with ECWA President, Rev. J. M. Gado, about some cloudy issues on the N50 million who confirmed to me that it was shared equally between TEKAN and ECWA.”
Reacting, the CAN president, in a telephone interview, said: “I don’t know any Dikwa. I have never met any Dikwa in my life. I came on board three months ago and I have never given out any money to any individual. That must be a fabrication. He’s not in CAN. This is not the first time he will be making such allegation. He’s looking for people he would get money from.
“People like me will never do anything like that. I have never seen his face though I do read some of his allegations. He’s not somebody of integrity. I am aware he’s a convert. He’s been sending me text messages, but I can never associate with such people.”
Blueprint recalls that Pastor Dikwa, in 2015, told the world that former President Jonathan-led federal government gave CAN N7 billion to campaign for his failed re-election bid through the then CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, an allegation that CAN vehemently refuted then.