Labour Party Crisis: Abure Moves To Sue National Treasurer Oluchi Opara For Defamation

Labour Party Crisis: Abure Moves To Sue National Treasurer Oluchi Opara For Defamation

2 months ago
3 mins read

Labour Party (LP) National Chairman, Barrister Julius Abure, says he has concluded plans to file a suit against the party National Treasurer Oluchi Oparah for defamation of his person.

Abure made this known in an interview on Arise TV Morning Show on Thursday.

Abure’s decision to sue Mrs Oparah follows the latter’s allegations that the LP national chairman was involved in corruption and mismanagement of the party’s funds.

READ ALSO: Labour Crisis: Obidients Jeer, Boo Apapa, Prevent Him From Speaking to Journalists In Court 

Oparah had during a media briefing in Abuja on Monday, demanded that Abure should render account of the party’s funds in excess of N3.5 billion, being proceeds of sale of forms and other revenues during the 2023 general elections.

She alleged that Abure misused a part of the N3.5 billion raised from the sale of nomination forms during the 2023 general elections, claiming that he only declared N55 million.

The LP national treasurer accused Mr Abure of preventing her from exercising her constitutionally assigned role of handling the party’s accounts and also failing to make the party’s accounts transparent, especially after the 2023 general elections fund raising were concluded.

She further accused Abure of engaging in “a series of actions that not only undermine the principles upon which the Labour Party was founded but also constitute grave violations of trust and fiduciary responsibility.”

READ ALSO: LP Crisis: External Forces Pushing To Frustrate Obi’s Election Petition – State Party Chairmen

She alleged that the chairman syphons money through unauthorized transfers from the party’s accounts to “proxy individuals.”

She also demanded that Abure should accounting for every single dollar allegedly raised from the 2023 US fundraising tour and provide documentation.

In response, the LP’s National Working Committee (NWC) on Wednesday ordered immediate suspension of Oparah for bringing the party to disrepute by making unsubstantiated allegations against the national chairman.

National Publicity Secretary of the party, Obiora Ifoh, who announced the decision of the NWC at a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, accused the Treasurer of being used by external forces to destabilize the party.

Oparah also appeared on Arise TV on Wednesday to reiterate her position that Abure was involved in misappropriation and should clear himself.

Responding to that during his appearance on Arise TV on Thursday to exercise his right of reply, Abure said the allegations though stemming from an intention to spark another round of crisis to destabilize the party, have gravely defamed his person.

Abure said: “I am going to sue Oparah, my lawyers are working, by today or tomorrow cases of defamation will be filed against Oluchi Oparah who came to national television to defame my person and to bring down my reputation.”

He said all the books of accounts of the party, including vouchers, receipts of payments are all available in the party secretariat in the custody of the accountant.

He said: “Let me make it clear that I have not at any point in time stopped Oluchi Oparah from performing her duties as national treasurer of the party.”

He listed functions of the national treasurer according to the party’s constitution which includes among others preparing financial reports.

While trying to prove that he does not unilaterally authorise release of funds from the party’s accounts, Abure displayed on Tv, some copies of cheques he co-signed with the national treasurer last year for monies to be released for specific activities, and urged anyone keen on investigating the matter to approach the party office for access to the records.

He further explained that the leadership of the party had directed all the banks they have accounts to regularly oblige the national treasurer with all the statements of account to enable her compile whatever records she wanted to compile.

He also displayed copies of letters sent to all the banks to send statements of account to the national treasurer.

“At no time have we stopped Oluchi from performing her functions as the national treasurer,” Abure added.

He said before he assumed office as national chairman in 2021, there was no record of financial transactions of the party and challenged Oparah to furnish the party and the general public with all the records.

Abure also debunked the claim by the national treasurer that the party raised about N3.5 billion not yet accounted for.

According to him, there is an audited report made by a certified auditor of the party who has reviewed all the records and they now have all the audited statements of accounts from 2022 to 2023.

“The total money, in summary, that entered the party between 2022 and now is N1 billion three hundred thousand naira. We also got N700 million for campaign funds that went straight to the campaign organisations. I didn’t know and cannot reconcile where she got the N3.5 billion that she talked about.

“I want to challenge her that she should make the records available were she arrived at the sum of N3.5 billion as money generated during the election,” Abure stated.

Abure also denounced the rumour that he plans to join the Edo State 2024 Governorship race.

He said the rumour is unfounded, adding that it is the work of external forces trying to destroy the party.

“I am not interested in the gubernatorial race, I am not going to run. I feel that the processs must be transparent, open and competitive,” he stated, adding that he and other members of the party’s NWC are working to install internal democracy within the party system and ensure a free, fair and credible primaries.

“I am not running for the office of governor in Edo State,” Abure clarified.

Victor Ezeja is a passionate journalist with six years of experience writing on economy, politics and energy. He holds a Masters degree in Mass Communication.


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