How Emenari sold Benue SDP to Ortom’s men for N4.6 million


Nigerian Concord Newspaper

Nigerian Concord can authoritatively report that the Benue state chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Mr. John Emenari,and the state secretary of the party, Felix Shom, have sold the state chapter of the party to the political allies of the governor of the state, Samuel Ortom.

Our findings showed that the SDP chairman and his secretary have instituted a terrible system of corruption in the party with the singular objective of making profit for themselves during this period of the electioneering campaigns.

It was also gathered that apart from placing the party structures at the disposal of whoever has the money to buy both of them are also working with other rich politicians who are not even in SDP at the moment to set up structures for them with no regards to what will become the fate of the poor aspirants and other youths who have been in SDP since 2016/2017.

During our investigations, it was learnt that both Enemari and Shom have perfected plans and have setup systems of embezzlement where they receive money from rich politicians some of which are not even SDP members to buy membership cards for them from the National Secretariat.

Instead of directing such persons to join the party legally and buy their cards or pass their money through the wards so that the wards will make their own money from the membership card purchases, our findings indicated that Enemari will collect money from these politicians at the rate of 100naira per card and buy at 50naira from the national secretariat.

“He will not remit what is supposed to go to the wards and Local governments. These monies are even nowhere to be found in the SDP State account. The only little money you can find in the State account is money that was made from sales of congresses forms which if you check the party account history you will see that the monies went in within the period of the congresses and nothing else has entered the party account in form of monies made from sales of membership cards.

“On selling these cards, Enemari and Shom will embezzle whatever share of the money which is supposed to go to the Wards and LGAs. Ask Enemari the size of membership in the state which is the how many SDP cards have been sold in the state. Ask him what is in his records per LGA and then go and ask the LGA chairmen, you will get conflicting figures. What Enemari will give you will be far higher than what the LGA Chairmen are aware of” a top member of the state executive council confided in Nigerian Concord during our investigations.

An example is the deal which the state chairman and his secretary had struck with Senator Barnabas Gemade, Honourable Emmanuel Udende, Benjamin Ashaver (Ortom’s special adviser on youths empowerment), Mike Onoja and others.

According to all the documents which were obtained by Nigerian Concord during its independent investigation on the matter, both Emenari and Shom fraudulently collected N4.6 million from Mr. Mike Onoja to hand over the party structure to the governor and his people.

Both Emenari and Shom however declared just N2 million to the party, and then shared the remaining N2.6 million between themselves.

It was also gathered that Ashaver gave money through Felix Shom which was used to buy cards and registers from Enemari in order to secure the party’s structure for Governor Samuel Ortom in case his plans to contest for governorship under the PDP fail.

Gemade on his own, according to investigations, was working with people in Konshisha and Vandeikya LGAs.

He is said to have used a lot of money he gave to Emenari and Shom to influence the formation of all the SDP structures in the two LGA.

Information also has it that Gemade was the one whom Jerry Gana gave the go ahead to bring the SDP zonal vice chairman for North Central and he brought Arch. David Umah.

Meanwhile, Gemade was accused to have left for PDP after setting up these structures at the expense of people who were already on ground.

It was also learnt that after the party convention this year, additional positions were made at the state level, apart from what was already on ground before the convention.

Both Gemade and Mike Onoja Okigbe were given all the additional slots (12) for them to bring their people and fill the positions.

Nigerian Concord also gathered that Enemari and Shom have being Embezzling funds meant for the running of the Wards and LGA structures of the party yet, whenever Enemari calls for a meeting in Makurdi, this EXCOs will toil from their meager resources to attend those meetings, and in the end, Enemari will not give them any support in form of transportation.

On the illegal sales of Membership Cards and registers to politicians, for those that have being exposed, Enemari has so far sold to: Hon Ashaver (Ukum State Constituency) 6000 Cards and some registers, Hon. Ajeh Henry (Ogbadibo State constituency) 2000 cards, Hon. Mrs Gever Mlumun (Makurdi South) 3000 Cards, Hon. Agbo Akoche (Ogbadibo) 2000 Cards, Hon. Apoche Daniel (Ogbadibo) 3000 Cards.

Some other executive members of the party who spoke with Nigerian Concord under the condition of anonymity stated that the above are some of the characters of Enemari which make him incapable of being a leader in SDP.

“Emenari has given an authority to Udende, Gemade, Mike Onoja, Ashaver to be running the show in SDP because we have discovered that he is not interested in winning elections in 2019 but wants to make money from aspirants during the campaigns. He has side lined all the youths that started with him in SDP since 2016/2017” a reliable source at the party’s secretariat in Makurdi said.

On the recently concluded congresses, Nigerian Concord discovered that a circular was sent from Abuja and published in the news papers that all states should organize congresses with the exception of Osun and Ekiti State because they had done theirs already but Enemari refused to comply by this directive.

Findings show that he rather went about deceiving party members, aspirants and stakeholders that there are going to be no state congresses, only Wards and Local government congresses.

However, on the 4th of August the State Congresses took place at the SDP secretariat, where Enemari handpicked people who were his allies and gave them nomination forms.

He was also accused to have simply compiled the names and gave them to INEC to adopt as the winners who emerged at the congresses.

Our source said: “Emenari disenfranchised other persons who were interested in contesting. He brought SARS to lock out all those people he believed where not in his camp.

“His initial reason for saying there were going to be no congresses was that they had congresses in 2016 so because the party had small membership by then, they could not fill all positions, so what is happening now will only be an affirmation of what happened in 2016 to make up all the posts.

“He claimed that by so doing, all existing structures from Ward to LGA and State will be maintained and affirmed bcos the people have suffered with the party. Even this Enemari did not do. He changed a lot of people to please those who were giving him money.

“In Apa he removed the LGA chairman Sunday Agbaji who has being spending his money to build the party across the ten council wards because he collected N4.6million from Mike Onoja. He now replaced Sunday Agbaji with Chief Ada Okpu who is a cousin of Mike Onoja. He has done this in Makurdi LGA too to replace him with someone who was brought by politicians from other parties.

“Now Gemade, Udende, Ashaver and Mike Onoja boast of SDP being in their palms and that its their second choice where they will take over whenever they want.

“On the congresses too, Enemari appointed aspirants who are his allies to act as the congress organizing committee. He did this to give them the free hand to set up structures that favour them and their allies.

“He appointed Hon. Igba Annta who is a House of Assembly aspirant to head the congresses organizing committee. He also appointed Hon. Humphrey Usha, an Aspirant for Gwer Gwer-Wst as part of the congress organizing committee too. Enemari and Shom were the ones who practically organized the state congresses. A state congress which they were supposed to be among the aspirants.

“How can such congresses be free and fair when you have aspirants setting up structures at Ward and LGA EXCOS that will be used to conduct primaries which these same people will be participating in.

“Enemari-led SDP has no place for the youths because he has no regards for all the hard work they are doing, and the federal secretariat must wade into the case of Emenari and his abuse of internal democracy or else they will loose Benue”