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LP crisis deepens as suspended National Treasurer sues party, seeks EFCC probe



The last has not been heard about the crisis of confidence which has engulfed the leadership of Labour Party over the administration of party funds.

National Treasurer of the party, Ms. Oluchi Oparah, who was suspended by the Comrade Julius Abure-led National Working Committee, NWC, for six months, has instituted a court action seeking to compel the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to probe Abure and look at the party’s financial records.

It was gathered in Abuja yesterday that she instituted the legal action on February 15, 2024.

In the suit, filed on her behalf by her lawyer, Emeka Etiaba, SAN, Okpara is also asking the court to nullify her six months suspension on the grounds that she wasn’t given fair hearing before the action was taken.

Her prayers are contained in an Originating summons with file number: FHC /ABj/CS/202/2024 dated February 15 2024.

In it, her legal counsel, Emeka Etiaba, SAN, filed the action pursuant to order 3 rule 7 of the Federal High Court (civil procedure) rules, 2019 and under the inherent jurisdiction of “this honourable court,” his client is asking the court whether it is not under the EFCC rules to investigate forgery.

In an accompanying affidavit deposed to by Oluchi Oparah, she said: “I wrote a letter to the first Defendant, EFCC, bringing a formal petition dated February 14, 2024, against the national chairman of Labour party, Comrade Julius Abure, the 2nd Defendant in this suit for several grievous offences bordering on forgery, embezzlement of the 3rd Defendant’s funds, and abuse of office and failure to account for 3rd Defendant’s funds at his disposal. The letter is annexed as Exhibit A.”

A new twist emerges

A new twist has also been added to the saga with a fresh allegation by a former Acting National Chairman of the party, Mrs. Maria Lebeke, who acted in that capacity shortly after the sudden death of Abdulladir Abdulsalam in December, 2020.

She also denied signing any cheque between February 7, 2022 and March 18, 2022, the period when the said Ñ14 million and two instances of N7 million were withdrawn from the account of the party by Abure.

Mrs Lebeke, made these claims during an interview she granted Arise Television on Saturday, Labaka, said: “The cheques between February 7 and March 18, I did not sign them. I only signed the cheques for March 29 meeting in Benin for the National Working Committee members and states chairmen of the party.”


38-year-old Omobayo to replace impeached Shaibu as Edo deputy governor




Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo, has picked Omobayo Godwin as his deputy, hours after the impeachment of Philip Shaibu.

The 38-year-old Omobayo is scheduled to be sworn in at the Edo government house in Benin City, the state capital, in the next couple of hours.

Born on July 19, 1986, Omobayo hails from Akoko Edo LGA of the state.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical electronics, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Benin (UNIBEN).

Shaibu was impeached on Monday by the Edo house of assembly.

His impeachment followed the adoption of the report of a seven-man investigative panel.

The panel was set up by Daniel Okungbowa, chief judge of Edo, and was headed by S. A. Omonuwa, a retired justice.

Shaibu was accused of “misconduct, perjury and disclosure of government secrets”.

Obaseki fell out with Shaibu after the latter showed interest in contesting the governorship election.

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I’m not leaving LP — we’ll resolve all issues, says Obi




Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 elections, says he is not leaving the party.

Obi spoke on Sunday during the inauguration of a borehole he donated to traders at Pantami cattle market in Gombe state.

The former Anambra governor said he would financially support 100 traders to boost their businesses.

Responding to whether he would leave the LP due to the recent leadership crisis, Obi said there is no such thing, adding that issues in the party would be resolved.

“No, there is no such thing. I am for peace. I like peace. I believe that we are one. We are one people and our concentration should be on peace and I believe we will resolve all issues,” he said.

On the speculation linking him with Nasir el-Rufai, the former governor of Kaduna, for the 2027 elections, Obi said he is more interested in the welfare of Nigerians than in the election.

“We are always concentrating on the election rather than what Nigerians are going through,” he said.

“My commitment is about Nigerians living in a better society, given a better life. You could see this business (market) without water for years. That is what we should care about and that is my concern.”

The LP has been embroiled in crises, ranging from allegations of misappropriation of funds, and leadership tussles and calls for the resignation of the party’s national chairman

On March 27, the LP conducted a national convention in Anambra state to re-elect Julius Abure as its national chairman.

Obi did not attend the convention, fuelling speculations that he might be scheming to dump the LP for another platform.

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Ondo guber: Police disown report on certificate forgery against Aiyedatiwa




The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) have disowned a report claiming that the force had concluded investigations into the certificate forgery allegations against Lucky Aiyedatiwa, governor of Ondo.

Recently, a report, purportedly signed by “DCP Tahir Usman”, on the probe of O’level certificate of Aiyedatiwa, made the rounds on social media.

In the report, it was claimed that “there is no proof to show” that Aiyedatiwa attended Ikoyi High School, Ikosi-Ketu, Lagos.

In a statement on Friday, Muyiwa Adejobi, force spokesperson, said the alleged signatory to the report does not have the authority to release such a document on behalf of the force.

Adejobi said the force is currently investigating the source of the document and circumstances surrounding the circulation.

“The document alleges fraudulent misrepresentation, certificate forgery, examination malpractice, and perjury against the governor,” the statement reads.

“We wish to clarify that the said document did not originate from the Nigeria Police Force.

“The alleged signatory, a deputy commissioner of police, does not have the authority to release such a report on behalf of the force criminal investigation department (FCID) or any other such departments within the Nigeria Police Force.

“We urge the public to exercise caution and refrain from spreading unverified information that could potentially tarnish the reputation of individuals or public officials.”

Ahead of the November governorship election in Ondo, there have been a raft of allegations bordering on certificate forgery against Aiyedatiwa.

In January, the Ondo State Redemption Initiative (OSRI) accused the governor of “forging a certificate he claimed to have gotten from the University of Ibadan”.

“He claimed to have acquired an Advanced Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Ibadan in 2001 but checks have proved that an Advanced diploma in business administration was not available at the University of Ibadan as of 2001,” Adebayo Ogunsanmi, the group’s president, had said.

Responding to the allegation, Ebenezer Adeniyan, the chief press secretary to Aiyedatiwa, asked the group to provide evidence to back their claims.

On Thursday, Aiyedatiwa submitted his nomination forms at the headquarters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja.

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