Home Politics Obi demands LP accounts audit, Abure denies fraud allegation

Obi demands LP accounts audit, Abure denies fraud allegation

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The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has called for an audit of the accounts of the party amid allegations of corruption against the LP National Chairman, Julius Abure.

 

This was as Abure, on Thursday, challenged the suspended National Treasurer of the party, Oluchi Opara, to provide concrete evidence to back her N3.5bn fraud allegation against him.

 

Opara had at a press conference on Monday challenged Abure to account for an alleged N3.5bn raised from the sale of nomination forms and fundraising activities in the build-up to the 2023 general elections.

 

In a twist on Wednesday, the party leadership slammed a six-month suspension on Opara for shunning an invitation to a probe meeting and dragging the party’s name in the mud.

 

An emotional Opara however lamented that she felt betrayed, even by the LP presidential candidate, who, she said, was aware of the alleged fraud.

 

Wading in on Thursday, the LP presidential candidate, Obi, said he had met with the party’s National Working Committee and advised on an audit of the party’s accounts to get to the root of the matter.

 

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Thursday, Obi said he recalled attending a meeting of the NWC where the issue was mentioned and he advised that the issue should be looked into.

 

He said, “I was at the meeting where she (Opara) mentioned it and I have directed them and appealed to them to go and resolve it. But today, it is in the public domain and we owe the public a duty to be transparent. I don’t stay around issues of funds mismanagement or where embezzlement is being discussed. I was governor for eight years and I didn’t condone things like this till I left office.

 

“I am a member of the party. What we need to do in the party, and I have discussed it with them, is that we must appoint a reputable audit firm to deal with the accounting of the party.

 

When I am involved anywhere money is, it must be transparent. All these allegations and counter-allegations must be thoroughly investigated and we will reconcile it.

 

“I am also using this opportunity to appeal to various support groups and individuals in the party that received funds on behalf of the party to support what we are doing to turn them in. There are some people and groups we heard collected money and said they were going to use it in the North (for campaign) and everything. We are pleading with them now that whatever you collected must be accounted for.”

 

Meanwhile, Abure, who featured a guest on an Arise TV programme on Thursday continued to deny the allegation, challenging Opara to provide concrete evidence.

 

Abure said, “I have never stopped Oluchi Oparah from carrying out her duties, including receiving money and signing cheques. The electronic payment funds meant for the party are automatically transferred.

 

“Total summary of the money that entered into the party was N1.3bn. We also got N800m for the campaign. I want to challenge her to make the records available wher

e she got the sum of N3.5bn.”

 

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