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LP state chairpersons call for Abure’s resignation over funds misappropriation

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Some state chairpersons of the Labour Party (LP) have called for the resignation of Julius Abure, national chairman of the party, over alleged misappropriation of funds.

BACKGROUND

On February 12, Oluchi Oparah, national treasurer of the LP, at a press conference in Abuja, accused Abure of allegedly misappropriating N3.5 billion belonging to the party.

She said the N3.5 billion was raised from sales of forms and fundraising activities in the build-up to the 2023 elections.

In reaction, Abure in an interview on Arise Television on Thursday said he would sue Oluchi for defamation of character.

He also said the party did not raise N3.5 billion from the sale of forms as the national treasurer alleged.

The party has also suspended Oluchi for six months.

Speaking with reporters on Monday in Bauchi after a meeting of party chairpersons, Solomon Ndem, Plateau LP chairman, called on Peter Obi and Datti Baba-Ahmed, presidential and vice-presidential candidates of the party in the last elections, to ask Abure to step aside.

“In the spirit of openess and accountablilty, as elected chairmen of the Labour Party in Nigeria, we wish to address certain concerns that have come to our attention,” Ndem said.

“We are appealing to his excellency Peter Obi, Senator Datti Baba-Ahmed and other distinguished personalities within the party in requesting Julius Abure to step aside.

“It is imperative for the party and the people of Edo to consider this matter seriously as the actions of one individual should not jeorpadise the efforts of our candidate and the aspirations of our voters in Edo state.”

‘THEY’RE NOT RECONGNISED BY INEC’

Obiora Ifoh, LP national publicity secretary, in a reaction, said the persons calling for Abure’s resignation are not the state chairpersons of the party recognised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“Please disregard the trending story that State Chairmen have passed a vote of no confidence on Abure,” Ifoh said.

“Former National Publicity Secretary of the party Abayomi Arabambi in cohort with his rebel group as usual assembled touts and labeled them state chairmen.

“It is a fake story and one of the sustained propaganda attacks initiated by their sponsors to discredit the party. The INEC recognized state chairmen will very soon address the media.

“Let it be known that the Labour Party is under the worst kind of siege ever but you can be assured that the party will survive them.”

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

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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

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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

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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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