Doyin Okupe, a former director general of the Peter Obi 2023 Presidential Campaign Organisation, has resigned from the party, citing ideological differences.
Mr Okupe announced his resignation from the party in a letter addressed to the National Chairman of the Labour Party (LP), Julius Abure.
In the letter, dated 8 January, Mr Okupe said the party was only used as a “special purpose vehicle” to actualise the presidential ambition of Mr Obi during the last presidential election.
Mr Okupe, who claimed to be on the centre-right of the ideological spectrum, said the lefty leaning of the LP does not conform with his own ideological stance.
“I have been a rightist and a Liberal Democrat all my entire life. It is therefore this ideological conflict that makes me seek an exit so that I may continue my political activities with liberalism, sincerity and freedom,” he said.
Messrs Okupe and Obi left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the LP shortly before the presidential primaries.
Mr Obi was given the presidential ticket of the LP. Mr Okupe served as the campaign DG and temporary running mate until the selection of the eventual running mate, Ahmed Datti.
In December 2022, Mr Okupe, a former presidential spokesperson, resigned as the campaign DG following his conviction in a money laundering case.
In a sitting of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Ijeoma Ojukwu, the presiding judge, sentenced Mr Okupe to two years imprisonment after he was found guilty of 26 out of a 59-count charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
However, he was given the option to pay a N500,000 fine on each of the counts — totalling N13 million. He subsequently announced his resignation as the campaign DG.
A statement by Ajuri Ngelale, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale revealed that President Tinubu Advised Ambassador Molly to ensure that U.S. policy is intentionally collaborative with independent African democracies at a time when they are under assault by anti-democratic forces within and outside of the continent.
The President noted that American-backed development finance and multilateral institutions, which were designed to support war-torn Europe after World War II, require swift and comprehensive reform to meet the developmental requirements of younger democracies in Africa, which operate in authoritarian-crowded environments, such that the legitimate yearnings of Africans would no longer be manipulated to serve the narrow aims of self-seeking demagogues through unconstitutional takeovers of power.
“Yes, the private sector will lead the way within an enabling environment we create for them, but the U.S. Government must be innovative in its thinking and systematically create incentives for U.S. industrial investment in Nigeria. Under my leadership, Nigeria stands ready to address their specific regulatory, tax and environmental concerns. I am determined to create prosperity for all Nigerian families,” the President declared.
The Nigerian leader affirmed that the crisis in Niger Republic would not deter him from concluding his economic reform programme successfully for the benefit of Nigerians and that he takes a queue from no nation, but will only advance the interest of the Nigerian state in his approach toward ECOWAS’ handling of the regional standoff.
“We know there is more we can do to incentivize large-scale American investment in Nigeria and we are committed to working closely with you to achieve that, as part of efforts to strengthen the Nigerian economy and the regional economy. We appreciate your willingness to create an enabling environment for that. President Joe Biden is asking to meet with you on the sidelines of UNGA and you are the only African leader he has requested to meet. It is a mark of his high regard for your leadership,” the U.S. Special Envoy said.
The President that the work of perfecting democracy is never done, even in developed democracies, as seen recently in America, as well as other emerging democracies in the world.
WORLD PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE JOINT MEDIA DIRECTORATES OF THE TINUBU/SHETTIMA PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN COUNCIL OF THE ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS:
ENOUGH OF PLAYING THE OSTRICH REGARDING THE “SPECIAL PURPOSE VEHICLE (SPV)” SAGA:
WE STRONGLY DEMAND THE IMMEDIATE ARREST AND/OR INVITATION, INTERROGATION AND POSSIBLE PROSECUTION OF ALHAJI ATIKU ABUBAKAR
Gentlemen of the press,
FACTS OF THE MATTER
For about a week now, Nigerians have been in deep shock over the grave revelations by a whistle-blower, Mr. Michael Achimugu, who has provided the nation with iron-cast evidence of letters of appointment by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, emails, documents, audio clips, sworn affidavit and direct oral evidence as to how Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (who happens to be the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party) during his tenure as Vice-President of Nigeria between 1999 and 2007, colluded with his then boss, President Olusegun Obasanjo, to fleece the country and steal public funds using what he termed “Special Purpose Vehicles” (SPVs).
Those SPVs were companies Atiku admittedly registered upon assumption of office as Vice-President (with the approval of President Olusegun Obasanjo) using “trusted allies” as shareholders and Directors. The purpose was to divert government contracts to these companies as “consultants” and then paid monies into these companies and used those monies to fund the PDP and their private businesses and family activities. We can all vividly recall that during that tenure, both President Olusegun Obasanjo and Atiku Abubakar built the Bells University and American University respectively. Now, we know from where the funds came.
We hereby make available Certified True Copies of the affidavit sworn to and released to the public by the whistleblower, Mr. Michael Achimugu, giving graphic details of all that transpired, including attached documents. Let us also play to you the voice recording he did of Atiku Abubakar. Note that he provided the time of the call, the phone number used and the emails immediately preceding the call.
POSSIBLE INFRACTIONS OF THE LAW
From the oral account of the whistle-blower, the voice notes and all other supporting documents, these are the possible infractions of the law Atiku Abubakar has committed and we urge his prosecution along these areas:
OFFENCES AGAINST THE CODE OF CONDUCT FOR PUBLIC OFFICERS
Sections 5, 10, 13 & 17 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act states as follows:
“A public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts with his duties and responsibilities.
(1) A public officer shall not ask for or accept property or benefits of any kind for himself or any other person on account of anything done or omitted to be done by him in the discharge of his duties.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, the receipt by a public officer of any gifts or benefits from commercial firms, business enterprises or persons who have contracts with the government shall be presumed to have been received in contravention of the said subsection (1) of this section, unless the contrary is proved.
A public officer shall not do or direct to be done, in abuse of his office, any act prejudicial to the rights of any other person, knowing that such act is unlawful or contrary to any government policy.
A public officer who does any act prohibited by this Act through a nominee, trustee or other agent shall be deemed ipso facto to have committed a breach of this Act.”
OFFENCE OF MONEY LAUNDERING.
Section 18 (2) of The Money Laundering (Prevention And Prohibition Act), 2022
(2) “Any person or body corporate, in or outside Nigeria, who directly or indirectly—
(a) conceals or disguises the origin of,
(b) converts or transfers,
(c) removes from the jurisdiction, or
(d) acquires, uses, retains or takes possession or control of any fund or property, intentionally, knowingly or reasonably ought to have known that such fund or property is, or forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, commits an offence of money laundering under this Act.”
OFFENCE OF CRIMINAL BREACH OF TRUST
Section 311 of the Penal Code Law reads thus-
“Whoever, being in any manner entrusted with property or with any dominion over property, dishonestly misappropriates or converts to his own use that property or dishonestly uses or disposes of that property in violation of any direction of law prescribing the mode in which such trust is to be discharged or of any legal contract express or implied, which he has made touching the discharge of such trust, or wilfully suffers any other person so to do, commits criminal breach of trust.”
OFFENCE OF CONSPIRACY Section 96 (1) of The Penal Code Act In Nigeria
“When two or more persons, agree to do or cause to be done
(a) an illegal act ; or
(b an act which is not illegal by illegal means, such an agreement is called a criminal conspiracy.”
ATIKU DOES NOT ENJOY IMMUNITY SIMPLY BECAUSE HE IS A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE
We understand that the law enforcement agencies may be reluctant to act simply because of the perception of persecution of a Presidential candidate that this may evoke.
However, facts are sacred. The facts so far presented to the world clearly indicate that Atiku Abubakar has a case to answer. In other climes when such serious allegations arose in the middle of campaigns, the law-enforcement agencies acted decisively. You may recall that, in 2016, in the middle of campaigns for the exalted office of the Presidency of the United States, the FBI opened investigation into allegation of misuse of private emails against Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State. In fact, the case was referred to the Justice Department for likely prosecution few weeks to actual voting. Though, she was later cleared, it bears restating that a sane and dispassionate system never allowed such side talks to dissuade or distract them from initiating a process of investigation. It is the minimum expected in a constitutional democracy. That is what we call on the authorities to do in the case of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
RECOVERY OF ALL MONIES IN MARINE FLOAT ACCOUNT
The issue of the Marine Float Account is not new to Nigerians. In the voice note, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar can be heard boasting that the issue of that account was thoroughly investigated by EFCC, yet then he was smart enough to escape.
However, we note that in 2006, at the height of his public quarrel with Obasanjo over the sharing of money, the same PDP officially asked Atiku Abubakar to refund N500million taken from that account.
In the circumstance, since the nation now knows that the Marine Float Account and other similar accounts were ‘SPV’ accounts, it follows that all payments made into that account were monies stolen from the public coffers. Therefore, we call on all security agencies to recover all monies withdrawn from that account by anyone for that matter.
ATIKU MUST APOLOGISE AND RENOUNCE HIS AMBITION
In the light of these very grave revelations, we call on Atiku Abubakar to IMMEDIATELY tender an unreserved apology to the Nigerian people and step down from the Presidential race forthwith, whilst handing himself over to the law enforcement agencies.
What is now clear to the Nigerian people is that between 1999 and 2007:
(a) President Obasanjo and Atiku ran a criminal enterprise and an empire of fraud in Abuja at the same time Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was toiling very hard, dutifully and meticulously laying the foundation to rebuild Lagos State.
(b) That following these revelations, it becomes clear that Atiku Abubakar has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO CAMPAIGN ON AGAIN AS THE PERIOD OF 1999 – 2007 that he always relies on can now be described by Nigerians as the “SPV years” when they ran Nigeria aground.
(c) That whilst President Obasanjo and Atiku deprived the good people of Lagos State their Local Government monthly allocations even after the Supreme Court ordered the release of the funds, they were busy stealing the nation’s resources by stealth in Abuja.
(d) That the real, dark reason for the seemingly irreconcilable quarrel between President Obasanjo and Atiku Abubakar is disagreement over monies they both stole in the ‘SPV’ accounts at that time.
PROTECTION FOR THE WHISTLE-BLOWER
When President Muhammadu Buhari came to office, one significant policy he adopted was that of whistleblowing. You are all witnesses to the fact that the policy has recorded tremendous success with the recovery of millions of dollars from various hidden sources. One was the famous Ikoyi apartment heist. These recoveries have been used by the Buhari administration to fund our budgets and build the infrastructure we see springing up everywhere in the country today. We also recall that recently, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved a Bill to be forwarded to the National Assembly for legal backing to the policy and legal protection for the whistle-blower
It is in the light of the above, we call on all well-meaning Nigerians and the law-enforcement agencies to protect Mr. Michael Achimugu, who has blown this whistle on Atiku Abubakar. No harm must befall him or members of his family. We suspect that some goons of Atiku Abubakar are planning to eliminate him and harm members of his family. We shall hold Atiku Abubakar responsible if anything befalls this patriotic Nigerian or members of his family. We also encourage him to reveal to Nigerians those “earth-shaking” revelations he is withholding for the sake of this nation and the future of our children.
So far, we are disillusioned, but not surprised at the conspiratorial silence of a section of the media over this grave issue of national importance. Even after seeing court processes in form of a sworn affidavit, we observe an embarrassing silence yet from a section of the media. We have consistently made our case against the unethical and partisan antics of some media houses and this development vindicates us.
When it was the case of the spurious and dead case of drug dealing leveled against our candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, these media platforms threw caution to the winds and zealously feasted on it. Of course, we gallantly came out and vigorously disproved all the tissue of lies against our candidate. But, now, the Press has gone strangely quiet. Well, whether they keep quiet or not, it is our firm belief that the judiciary is the last hope for the hopeless. In this case, the judiciary will not be quiet as we shall clearly take steps in the next few days to initiate a judicial process seeking the OUTRIGHT DISQUALIFICATION OF ATIKU ABUBAKAR from the race based on these facts. He is clearly ethically challenged, morally damaged for the highest office of the land.
We call on the Fourth Estate of the realm to resist the temptation of partisan recruitment this moment, rise to a patriotic call this defining hour and save the nation from this candidate that serially abused his office as Vice-President of Nigeria.
Mr. Dele Alake
Special Adviser, Media, Communications and Public Affairs
Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN Director, Public Affairs and Chief Spokesperson
Mr. Bayo Onanuga Director, Media and Publicity
Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode Director, Special Media Projects/New Media
Alhaji Idris Mohammed Director, Strategic Communications
Sanwo-Olu, GAC, Lagos APC Urge Party Members to Conduct Themselves During Congresses, Primaries
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has appealed to leaders and members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner during the forthcoming primary elections and congresses of the party in the State.
He also appealed to them to abide by the tenets of the ruling party during the primary elections, as well as the elections of local government, state and national delegates.
Governor Sanwo-Olu made the statement during the Lagos APC Stakeholders’ meeting held at the party’s secretariat in Acme Road, Ogba on Tuesday.
He said it is the responsibility of party members to live, work and dream in the tenets of the party as APC conducts its congresses across the state on Wednesday and therefore urged the party’s faithful to conduct themselves in an orderly manner and comply with the party’s guidelines.
In his address, the leader of the Governance Advisory Council (GAC), the apex leadership body of Lagos APC, Prince Tajudeen Olusi, charged all the party members to work hard for the ruling party to retain Lagos during next year’s elections.
He also advised the party members to ensure that people with integrity are elected during APC congresses and primaries, adding that they must discourage saboteurs from being elected as delegates and party candidates during the APC primaries and 2023 polls respectively.
Also speaking, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, appealed to APC members to support, work and abide by any decision made to ensure the party’s success in order for it to continue to reign.
He appealed to the party members to sacrifice where necessary for the common interest and the progress of the ruling party, especially in the interest of the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who is running for the 2023 presidency.
Speaking earlier, Lagos State APC Chairman, Pastor Cornelius Ojelabi, said the business of forthcoming congress and primary elections of the party should not be seen as a do or die affair by the delegates.
He said they should see both the congress and the primaries as a contest.
Pastor Ojelabi while imploring party members to use internal mechanism to resolve conflicts said no local government chairman or party chairman at the council level had a right to write a letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for redress on any issue without first exploring the internal conflict resolution of the party.
Lagos APC chairman also encouraged party leaders and members to show commitment and passion toward the ongoing continuous voters’ registration by encouraging people to register for their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) before the June 30 deadline.
The stakeholder’s meeting was attended by Governor Sanwo-Olu, his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; GAC members, Lagos APC executives, members of the Lagos State Executive Council, members of the National Assembly and Lagos State House of Assembly, Conference 57 and party’s chairmen from 20 local governments and state’s technical support committee, among others.
Tinubu On Track To Become APC Flagbearer As Delegates Endorse Him
Indications yesterday emerged that the former Governor of Lagos State and leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, may clinch the ruling party’s presidential ticket.
Findings from the party faithful in Kano, Kaduna, Kastina, Niger, Adamawa, and other parts of the north-east and north-west revealed that no other aspirant was respected and trusted by the delegates as much as Tinubu, who was received in all the states with a rousing welcome, was also described as a consistent leader and a true party man.
According to a reliable source in Kastina, who pleaded anonymity, some APC caucus members are currently evaluating all aspirants’ track records in terms of their commitment to democracy, APC, tolerance and achievements.
“I can tell you authoritatively that we are seriously considering Asiwaju because of his track record. He is truly a detribalised Nigerian who has remained consistent with democracy and the rule of law over three decades. Several Nigerians have benefited from his generosity and he is not bias in dealing with people irrespective of their tribe, religion, and other differences. A peep into Tinubu’s family, political dynasty and many of those who have become important figures in Nigeria today says it all. “
Ahead of the 2023 general election across the federation, the posters of the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare’s Governorship Posters have flooded his home state, Oyo as well as various social media platforms.
Sunday Dare’s reputation as a journalist of conscience will require a catalogue to capture. I got to know him on the pages of TheNews and Tempo Magazines during the post-June 12, 1993 Presidential election imbroglio and the ensuing struggle to re-validate the sanctity of the mandate freely given by Nigerians to the winner, Late Chief M.K.O Abiola.
Two of the posters available to our Correspondent declared Mr Dare as the “People Choice 2023″
With “Vote Sunday Dare for Governor Oyo State” cospicously written on both.
The posters are said to be sponsored by “Dad’s Foundation”.
At TheNews, he was one of the popular young Turks like Bagauda Kaltho, Lara Owoeye-Wise, Ebenezer Obadare, Jenkins Alumona, Akin Adesokan, Ademola Adegbamigbe, Bamidele Johnson and Henry Ugbolue among others who were mentored by the irrepressible Bayo Onanuga, Kunle Ajibade, Babafemi Ojudu, Idowu Obasa and Dapo Olorunyomi. Sunday Dare and his cohorts at TheNews were undeniably the hotheads of guerilla journalism who irritated, in no small measure, the Abacha Military Junta with penetrating and exclusive stories that exposed the underbelly of the military government’s political chicanery.
Although rumours of his governorship ambition has been mooted around in quarters, Mr Dare has not declare is political ambition to be the governor of Oyo State.
Oyo State is currently controlled by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP under the governorship of Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde.
As if to buttress my conviction about his suitability, the Vanguard Newspaper recently x-rayed profiles of ministerial nominees, and that of Sunday Dare stood out as an intellectual and political communication lodestar. The profile read like that of a man on a continuous quest to unlock the door to personal excellence; a man with a will to win, the desire to succeed, and the urge to reach full potential. Indeed President Buhari made a good choice in the Minister-designate from Oyo State.
Mr Dare, a former commissioner in the Nigeria Communication Commission, NCC, was appointed minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria overseeing the ministry of youth and sports on August 21, 2019.
His close to two years stewardship is not without controversies and good records.
Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde has apparently announced an end to the political difference between him and the former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose.
Makinde and Fayose had a few months ago locked-horns over the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party in the South-West region.
Although the former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose conceded defeat after his preferred candidate, Eddy Olafeso lost to Taofeek Arapaja who was backed by Governor Maklinde in the April 2021 south-west zonal PDP Congress, there were indications that the party in the zone may not be united.
But one week to the Special National Convention of the PDP, Governor Makinde, who was a guest at the traditional wedding ceremony of Oluwanigba Fayose, son of the former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose in Lagos on Saturday, said whatever misunderstanding they have had, has been put behind them.
He also cautioned against politics of bitterness, noting that the presence of the Chairman, Nigerian Governors’ Forum and present Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and erstwhile governor of Ekiti State, Segun Oni at the wedding, should serve as a lesson to Nigerians.
“If you look at the former governors in Ekiti State – Governor Segun Oni, Governor Ayo Fayose and the incumbent Governor Kayode Fayemi, they have governed the state at one time or the other but they were not in the same party. So, those of you who want to die because of us politicians, be careful,” Makinde said, according to a statement signed by his spokesperson, Taiwo Adisa.
“Politics is not something that should cause anybody to lose his or her life. We are moving towards the electioneering period, and I just want to use this opportunity to appeal to you all.
“If you also look at this marriage, the bride and groom are from Christian and Muslim families. So, people who also want to always fight on religious grounds should have a rethink.”