N3.5bn scandal: Obi demands probe of LP campaign funds

Labour Party’s (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has demanded a comprehensive probe into the accusations of financial misconduct against Julius Abure, the party’s national chairman.

The LP’s National Working Committee (NWC) suspended Oluchi Oparah, the party’s national treasurer, for six months on Wednesday for allegedly tarnishing the party’s reputation.

Oparah had accused Abure of mismanaging the N3.5 billion that was gathered in the run-up to the 2023 general elections through the sale of nomination forms and donations.

She also alleged that the Abure-led NWC was working hand-in-hand with the Edo State government and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the September 2024 governorship polls.

Obi, who asked for a forensic audit of the party’s finances, rendered an account of the 2023 Obi-Datti Presidential campaign Organization at a media briefing in Abuja, yesterday.

He said: “For the LP, I am a member of the party, and they have chosen to say that I am the leader. What we need to do in the party, and I have discussed it with the leadership, is that we must now appoint a reputable audit firm to audit and be able to deal with the account of the party.

“When I am involved in, anywhere money is, it must be transparent. So, the allegations and counter allegations now must be thoroughly investigated and verified, and we would reconcile it and know exactly what we do.”

Chairman of the Fund Raising Team of the Obi-Datti Campaign Organisation, Aisha Yesufu, who rendered an account of funds raised and spent during the campaign, said N595,976,994.00 was received from Nigerians as donations.

She, however, explained that there was over N744,500,000.00 in litigation over the 2023 presidential election.

Yesufu said: “Accountability and transparency are very critical and important; that is why we asked people to donate so that we could come back to them to explain how their money was judiciously used.

“We thank everyone who donated in cash and kindness. From the donations from citizens, we received N595,976,994.

“This is the money we raised from the four accounts that we have talked about. We also received N800,000,000 from the candidate himself.”



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