The internal crisis rocking the Labour Party (LP) deepened on Monday with the National Treasurer of the party, Mrs Oluchi Oparah demanding accountability and transparency from its National Chairman, Julius Abure in the usage of funds.
She accused Abure of alleged misuse of part of the N3.5 billion raised from the sale of nomination forms during the 2023 general elections, saying he only declared N55 million.
But Abure through the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Obiora Ifoh, said Oparah decided to fight dirty after her wish to be settled and “cash out” was rejected.
According to him, Oparah “is certainly under some external influences”, as the Labour Party has not earned N3.5 billion as claimed neither has Abure embezzled any money that belongs to the party as alleged.
Oparah at a press conference in Abuja also alleged that the LP chairman bought some properties in Nigeria and abroad between 2022 and 2023.
She said, “Under Mr Abure’s watch, over N3.5 billion was raised from the sale of nomination forms for the 2023 general elections. However, apart from the proceeds of the sale of forms from his home state of Edo – which was diverted to Mr Abure’s private accounts, he only declared N55 million to me as Treasurer, of the over N3.5 billion raised, pocketing the rest for himself.
“In conclusion, I reiterate my demand for Mr Abure to fully account for every Naira and Dollar raised under his tenure. Nothing less than full transparency and accountability will suffice.”
But Abure in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of LP, Obiora Ifoh, said Oparah merely read out a concocted statement drafted by his detractors to further tar the image of the party.
Ifoh said, “The party can understanding her vituperations 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.
“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.”
Friday Olokor, Abuja