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    HomePoliticsTinubu, Obi campaign groups bicker over alledged $150m Diaspora Funding

    Tinubu, Obi campaign groups bicker over alledged $150m Diaspora Funding

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    By Francis Ekeh, Abuja

    Few days to the commencement of presidential campaigns in Nigeria, supporters of two of the major contenders to the office of the president, namely; Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peter Obi of the Labour party (LP) are up in arms over an alleged plans by the later to source funds offshore.

    On Saturday, the Tinubu group under the auspices of Tinubu-Shettima Connect called for the disqualification of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, from the 2023 presidential race.

    The group was reacting to a report that the National Chairman of the Labour Party, Julius Abure, had inaugurated an 11-man Diaspora Committee to organise fundraising activities for the party

    The inauguration came a day after the party’s Diaspora support groups pledged to crowd-fund $150million for Obi, and another N100billion to be sourced from supporters in Nigeria.

    In a statement issued and signed by its convener, Adebanjo Moyosore, the group asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disqualify Obi and his running mate, Ahmed Baba Datti over violation of the Electoral Act on campaign funding.

    The group further vowed to begin legal action to prevent the Labour Party from participating in the 2023 presidential election for engaging in activities that contravene the Electoral Act.

    The Tinubu group said it was not only illegal to raise campaign funds from abroad through unknown sources or unidentified groups, adding that there are also consequences and implications for such an act.

    It said the inauguration of a Diaspora committee by the leadership of the Labour Party to gather campaign funds from Nigerians in the diaspora for Obi’s presidential campaign was not “only illegal but also criminal.”

    “Section 85 of the Electoral Act has clearly explained this; Section 85 (a) (b) provides that any political party that: (a) holds or possesses any fund outside Nigeria in contravention of section 225 (3) (a) of the constitution, commits an offence and shall, on conviction, forfeit the funds or assets purchased with such funds to the commission, and in addition, may be liable to a fine of at least N5million, or (b) retain any fund or other asset remitted to it from outside Nigeria in contravention of the law” the group stated

    But reacting to the allegations, the Labour Party said neither the party nor its presidential candidate Peter Obi is after foreign funds

     
    National Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party, Abayomi Oluwafemi, gave this clarification in a telephone interview with a national newspaper, on Saturday.

    He described the speculations that the party was equally seeking foreign funding for its activities as part of the antics of political opponents, who were intimidated by the rising profile of the Labour Party and its presidential candidate.

    Oluwafemi said: “It is ridiculous that our political opponents have descended to a new low to insinuate that our party is oblivious of electoral laws.

    “For the avoidance of doubt, neither our party nor our candidate is seeking for foreign funding for any of our activities.

    “Our candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, is hitting the ground running.

    “He is reaching out to Nigerians in the diaspora most of whom have lost confidence in the current administration and see no reason to come home to invest.

    “He is getting them ready to have a rethink because the incoming Labour Party-led administration which by the grace of God, he and Datti will be leading, will provide an enabling environment for direct foreign investment required to revive our ailing economy which the APC has unfortunately destroyed.”

    Peter Obi not after foreign funds, says Labour Party
    Peter Obi not after foreign funds, says Labour Party
    The Publicity Secretary equally dismissed speculations of a conflict between the party leadership and the presidential candidate over campaign funding.

    According to him, the party had since debunked the speculations which it said was part of an orchestrated plot by political opponents to whittle down the growing influence of the party and its candidates

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