President Muhammadu Buhari with Senator Babayo Gamawa at the presidential villa, Abuja, on Tuesday, January 8, 2019.
Babayo Gamawa, the former deputy national chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, who defected to the All Progressives Congress Tuesday after he was suspended by the PDP, is accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of a N500 million fraud.
Mr Gamawa is standing trial alongside five chieftains of the PDP in Bauchi State for alleged receipt of illicit N500 million for the 2015 campaigns of the party.
The money, according to the anticorruption agency, the EFCC, was part of the slush funds allegedly deployed for the elections by ex-petroleum minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke.
The commission charged Mr Gamawa and other accused persons before a federal high court in Bauchi, in June, 2018.
PREMIUM TIMES could not establish the progress of the case at the time of filing this report.
Welcomed with open arms
The corruption case against him, notwithstanding, he was welcomed with open arms by the APC, hours after he was suspended for alleged anti-party activities by the PDP.
Mr Gamawa was received by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Tuesday evening.
The politician was led to the president by Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abubakar, and was joined by another defector, Kaulaha Aliyu, a member of the PDP’s Board of Trustees.
A spokesperson for Mr Buhari, Femi Adesina, shared pictures of his boss and Mr Gamawa late on Tuesday, describing the latter as a “new entrant into APC”.
While sharing the pictures of visit, Mr Adesina wrote: “President Buhari receives in audience New Entrant into APC Former Deputy National Chairman of PDP Senator Babayo Garba Gamawa and Hon. Kaulaha Aliyu alongside Bauchi State Governor in State House on 8th Jan 2019”.
Accused of fiddling with the ruling party and dereliction of duties, Mr Gamawa’s former party announced his suspension Tuesday morning.
The national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said Mr Gamawa was suspended by the National Working Committee (NWC), following a petition.
He said the committee held an extraordinary session on January 5, where it reviewed the petition against the deputy national chairman.
“The NWC found merit in the petition on allegation of dereliction of duty and anti-party activity as contained in Section 58 (1) e, f, g, h of the PDP Constitution.
“Therefore, in exercise of section 29 (2) a, b and c, the NWC hereby invokes Section 59 (1) d of the constitution of the PDP on the Deputy National Chairman (North) and accordingly suspends him from the party immediately.”