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Labour Party Reacts To Embezzlement Claim Against Party Chairman By Treasurer

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The Labour Party has denied allegations of corruption and abuse of office levelled against its National Chairman, Barrister Julius Abure, by outgoing National Treasurer Ms. Oluchi Opara.

In a statement signed by National Publicity Secretary Obiora Ifoh, the party dismissed Ms. Opara’s claims as “concocted” and motivated by “external influences.”

The statement reads in part: “With the exception of the National Treasurer whose tenure is about to end in few weeks time, and who has served for 8 years as National Treasurer without a single record of party accounts, no other member of the national working committee has raised any issue of embezzlement against out National Chairman who made a pledge on assumption that the party has to be revamped. Evidence is our proactive outing in the 2023 general election as the party presented for the first time a very good presidential candidate.

“Let it be said that the Labour Party has not earned N3.5 billion as claimed and that the National Chairman has not embezzled any money that belongs to the party as alleged. The records are there, except that Ms Oluchi Opara don’t even understand simple accounting even as a treasurer. An External Auditor is engaged by the party and our account is under constant scrutiny of INEC or other regulatory bodies.

“Abure does not own several houses and property as spuriously alleged by our estranged National Treasurer, even though no law prohibits him from owning properties.”

“The constitution of the Labour Party in Article 14:1b provides that the National Chairman shall be the Accounting Officer of the party while 14:1d “Shall approve all expenditures and shall be a signatory to the Party’s Bank account(s)”

‘Accordingly, Article 14: 6 states that the National Treasurer “Shall receive and promptly pay into the Party’s account(s), all monies received for and on behalf of the Party.

“Shall ensure the preparation of Annual Statement of Account/Reports on finances of the Party including compilation of the Party’s Assets and liabilities and make same available to the National Executive Council from time to time. Shall be a co-signatory to the Party Account(s).”

“These sections are clear as to the duty of the national chairman apart from providing leadership. The duty of the National Treasurer is also clearly spelt out.

“In the past, the party didn’t have accounting books or method as it was ran by the then chairman and Ms Oluchi the Treasurer. They were only accountable to themselves, but with the emergence of the Abure led executive, and the growth of the party, it became imperative for the party to structure its accounting method and policy. This of course didn’t go down well with the National Treasurer whose financial source was shut down.

“The party can understanding her vituperation but we can’t help her situation moreso when her time in the NWC is running out. Her wish to cash out was not granted and her subtile effort to push the leadership to ‘settle’ her was rejected hence her resolve to fight dirty.

“It will be recalled that she is alone on this battle. Several stakeholders have had course to prevail on her to bridle her inordinate ambition but all to no avail. We are surprised that despite all effort to assure her of a future, she still went ahead to align with our detractors and sworn enemies of the party.

“The party will definitely take her case to the disciplinary committee where appropriate measure will be taken.”

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Just in: Ganduje to know fate on suit seeking his removal as APC chairman, June 26

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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja says it will hear the suit seeking to sack Abdullahi Ganduje as the national chairman of the all Progressives Congress (APC) on June 26, 2024.

Ruling on the matter on Thursday, June 13, Justice Inyang Ekwo said the court would also decide on the objection raised against the competence of the suit.

Justice Ekwo said the ruling is sequel to a request by Benjamin Favour, the lawyer to the plaintiff —the North Central APC Forum — which seeking to be allowed time to reply to the responses filed by Ganduje.

The Forum, led by Saleh Zazzaga, is querying the propriety of Ganduje’s appointment as the chairman of the APC when he is not from the north-central geo-political zone.

Listed as defendants in the case are Ganduje, the APC, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

At the mention of the case on Thursday, Davou said although the suit was slated for hearing, it would not be possible because Ganduje’s lawyer, Raymond Asikeni just served him the notice of preliminary objection and counter affidavit filed by the first defendant.

Davou promised to file his reply to the two sets of documents files by Ganduje first thing on Wednesday after the public holiday.

Justice Ekwo then adjourned till June 26 for hearing, adding: “On the date of hearing, the preliminary objection will be taken together with the substantive suit.”

“The processes of any party that is absent from court shall be deemed as adopted,” the judge said.

The plaintiff, in the main suit, wants the court to, among others, restrain Ganduje from further parading himself as the chairman of the APC.

It also wants the court to issue an order directing INEC not to accord recognition to all actions taken by the APC, including congresses, primaries, and nominations, since Ganduje became APC Chairman on August 3, 2023.

The plaintiff is contending among others, that Ganduje is occupying the office of the APC Chairman illegally, not being from a state in the north-central geo-political zone.

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Akpabio denies teaming up with El-Rufai for 2027 presidency

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The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, on Wednesday, described as mischievous campaign posters in circulation suggesting a political alliance between himself and former Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, for the 2027 presidential election.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Eseme Eyiboh, Akpabio described the campaign posters as “the handiwork of mischief makers.”

“Senator Godswill Akpabio does not have any intention to contest for president in 2027 nor is he nursing any ambition of a joint presidential ticket with Mallam Nasir El-Rufai or any other person by whatever name,” Eyiboh said.

Describing the posters as “spurious and mischievous,” Eyiboh said Akpabio was focused on his role as the Senate President, supporting President Bola Tinubu in resetting Nigeria and restoring the nation’s pride on the global stage.

“Since assuming office on June 13, 2023, Akpabio has been dedicated to providing the necessary legislative support to the Tinubu administration and has not contemplated running for President at any point.

“It is embarrassing for anyone to link the person of Senate President Godswill Akpabio to an insipid presidential ambition, when a competent, trusted, and tested leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, is in the driving seat, effectively navigating the contours of purposeful leadership and adept governance with his Renewed Hope Agenda,” Eyiboh said.

He urged Nigerians to disregard the posters “as attempts to distract from the significant and positive interventions being made by the Senate under Akpabio’s leadership.”

The statement also called on security agencies to investigate and identify those behind this “ugly enterprise.”

El-Rufai is currently facing an allegation of N423bn theft allegation levelled against him by the Kaduna State House of Assembly.

Though shortlisted by President Bola Tinubu for ministerial appointment, the National Assembly declined to confirm him, citing unfavourable security reports.

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Aregbesola forms new political group after alleged expulsion from APC

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Former Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has reportedly launched a new political group named, ‘Omoluabi Progressives’.

According to The Will, Aregbesola also began the group’s membership registration at his ward last weekend.

The former Minister of Interior floated the political group shortly after his alleged expulsion from the All Progressives Congress (APC), Osun State by the party’s top chieftains.

The APC in Osun State said that Aregbesola is not a member of the party.

The party in a communique signed by State Chairman Tajudeen Lawal, while officially informing party leadership about the upcoming electronic party membership registration as directed by the national secretariat, warned members against registering with Aregbesola’s group as it is not recognised as part of APC in Osun state.

The communique added that as far as the APC was concerned in Osun State, Aregbesola is no longer a member of the party.

It accused Aregbesola of causing distractions within the party’s affairs in the state and that it had notified the national secretariat, at least thrice, to take appropriate actions since it was unable to tame him at the state level.

Prominent members of Southwest All Progressives Congress (APC) were also absent at Aregbesola’s 67th birthday.

There have been rumours that the ‘Omoluabi Progressives’ is allegedly a prelude to a new political machinery Aregbesola will use to determine who becomes the next governor of Osun.

Meanwhile Aregbesola has not yet publicly denounced his membership of the APC.

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