Usman received the first N100m transfer on February 6, 2015; while the second N100m came through three days later on February 9 –according to the People’s Gazette
During the 2015 general elections in Nigeria, Aliko Dangote transferred N200m to a bank account run by Hadiza Bala Usman, a BringBackOurGirls activist, the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority.
The people’s Gazette, revealed that the transactions were sent in twice from two different bank accounts of Dangote to Usman’s account with Access Bank.
Usman received the first N100m transfer on February 6, 2015; while the second N100m came through three days later on February 9.
The difficulty involved in the transaction description made it impossible to pass a conclusion.
Since November 3, neither Dangote nor Usman clarified the purpose of the transactions to the newspaper despite multiple requests for comments.
Dangote’s spokesperson, Tony Chiejina, declined to confirm or deny his principal initiated the transfers.
But Usman pointedly denied knowledge of the transactions despite being told of the date, amount and the specific bank account with which the funds were received.
“I am not aware of any such payments made to my account,” she told Peoples Gazette.
Dangote and Bala Usman refused to clarify the transactions, at least two sources close to the APC campaign told the newspaper that the N200m was part of the campaign donations channelled to the opposition campaign through proxies like the NPA boss, Sahara Reporters confirmed this.
Usman neutral in partisan politics in the 2015 elections.
She was popularly recognized as one of the key voice in the #BringBackOurGirls.
Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s military head of state was seeking a return to power in the election that was initially scheduled for February 14, 2015 but when the exercise was postponed on February 8, Buhari’s allies flooded the country with claims that the then-ruling PDP was trying to frustrate them.
The APC was reported to have finished its campaign war chest before the elections were extended for another six weeks.
The All Progressives Congress, APC, was able to maintain the campaign until its victory on March 28, buoyed by alarming rates of insecurity, ineptitude and corruption in Goodluck Jonathan administration.
The Peoples Gazette reported that Usman’s rapid rise through political ranks, first as Chief of Staff to Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna and later as MD of NPA was largely as a result of her political mobilisation for the then-opposition party.
“Those who have been grumbling that she was handed a juicy position like NPA even when she did not campaign with us have a minimal understanding of the role she played in 2015,” one of the sources said.
Usman’s account also reflected multiple transfers to other APC members, such as, Balarabe Abbas Lawal, El-Rufai’s cabinet secretary.
More than 8 transactions worth nearly N400m went to Mr Lawal during Nigeria’s elections in 2015.
Dangote himself has long endured allegations of oiling his vast entrepreneurial empire by keeping friends with people with policymakers and potential policymakers.
Two weeks ago, Dangote was widely criticised after his company received a special waiver to export its product through Nigeria’s land borders, which have been closed to all companies since August 2019.
Hadiza Bala Usman’s Access Bank account statement on SCRIBD