Fresh crisis brews in Labour Party as national treasurer accuses Abure of misappropriating N3.5bn

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The National Treasurer of the Labour Party, Oluchi Opara, on Monday asked the party’s National Chairman, Julius Abure, to account for N3.5 billion generated during the 2023 general election in the country.

Opara made the call at a news briefing in Abuja.

She said the funds were proceeds from the sales of forms and other activities ahead of the election.

The development is expected to throw the LP into another crisis months after two factions led by Abure and Lamidi Apapa laid claims to the party’s leadership positions.

Opara said: “With great reluctance and deep concern, I am compelled to publicly address the media regarding the egregious financial mismanagement and corruption that have plagued our beloved party under the leadership of Mr. Julius Abure, the current National Chairman.

“As national treasurer, I am constrained to come before you and the public today because the internal mechanisms of our party have failed woefully to bring Mr. Abure to account for his brazen abuse of office and misappropriation of party funds.

“His appetite for power has grown unchecked, and he has deliberately undermined my duties and authority as stipulated in the party’s constitution.

However, in a statement in Abuja, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, described the allegations as malicious.

He argued that Opara’s claims were orchestrated by detractors who were determined to tarnish the party’s image.

Ifog said: “The attention of the leadership of the party has been drawn to a news conference by our National Treasurer, Ms. Oluchi Opara, where she raised several allegations against the National Chairman, Julius Abure, bothering more on corruption and abuse of office.

READ ALSO: Labour Party members facing threats after 2023 elections —Abure

“With the exception of the National Treasurer whose tenure is about to end in a few weeks, and who has served for eight 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 pledged on the 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 doesn’t even understand simple accounting even as a treasurer. The party engages an External Auditor, and our account is under constant scrutiny by INEC or other regulatory bodies.”

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