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.
AMUWO ODOFIN : GEORGE OLAWANDE’S ELECTION UPHELD AS SANUSI AIMS TO APPEAL TRIBUNAL JUDGEMENT
The National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Lagos has dismissed the election petition filed against the member representing Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency, George Olawande of the Labour Party.
Prince Lanre A. Sanusi (PLS) who is the All Progressives Congress (APC), House of Representative Candidate had challenged the declaration of his Labour Party opponent as winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), insisting George and his party did not comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act, hence, do not stand qualified to contest in the election.
Delivering the judgement, the three-man panel did not agree with the petitioner that the candidate of the Labour Party was not qualified to contest the elections.
Members of the panel were Justice A. B. Abdullahi, Justice Okon A. Okon and Justice Esther Nnenna Alukwu.
However, Sanusi in a statement on Wednesday urged his supporters to maintain calm as he vowed to consult his lawyers and exercise his rights to appeal the judgment within the stipulated days.
“While I am waiting for my team of lawyers to give me full details on the judgment, I urge all my supporters to be calm and peaceful, as their mandate is not lost. I verily know that I have the option of appeal at the Court of Appeal, which I shall exercise after due consultation with my lawyers. I urge my supporters not to be disturbed but to believe that we will get it right.”
In similar vein last month, the Lagos State National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Ikeja, sacked Hon Sowunmi, member representing Ojo Federal Constituency replacing him with Hon. Lanre Ogunyemi.
In the case against Olawande, recall that the Labour Party Star Witness , Hon George Olawande was physically present at the Tribunal as a star witness in the ongoing suit filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and two other political party challenging the process which led to emergence of Olawande as LP candidate
The National Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party, Mr Abayomi Arabambi has faulted the candidature of the Amuwo-Odofin House of Representatives member-elect, Mr Olawande George, describing the process that churned him out as shambolic.
Arabambi who subpoenaed to unravel some shaddy discovery at th Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ikeja Lagos that was never among the candidates sponsored by the Labour Party for the February 25th election.
The Executive Council members of the Labour Party (LP) in Ward 3, Arue in Esan North East Local Government Area of Edo State have suspended the national chairman of the party, Julius Abure, over alleged forgery and anti-party activities. Speaking at a press conference on Friday, the Ward Chairman, Martins Osigbemhe, claimed that Abure connived with the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to truncate the chances of the party in the February 25 presidential poll.
Osigbemhe added that Abure was suspended by the executive, pending the determination of the numerous petitions and cases against him in courts.
He said: “We, the Labour Party Ward Executive Council in Ward 03-Arue, in Esan North East Local Government Area O4 of Edo State (12), do hereby suspend Barr Abure Julius Odianosen indefinitely as the National Chairman of the Labour.”
The Labour Party on Friday dismissed the purported suspension of its national chairman, Julius Abure, by its Ward Executive in Esan North East Local Government Area of Edo State, saying the masterminds were being sponsored by opposition parties.
The LP said no reasonable party member would be thinking of suspension when they are pursuing their presidential mandate in the Election Petition Tribunal and all other mandates including the Governorship, Senate and House of Representatives that were brazenly stolen.
The National Secretary of LP, Farouk Umar, in a statement, also blamed the purported suspension of Abure as the handiwork of opposition parties plotting to distract the party.
According to him, the party’s constitution was clear on who can suspend and who cannot suspend the national chairman.
Umar directed that “they should go and read the party’s constitution.”
Some members who claimed to be ward executives of the party had slammed suspension on Abure over alleged forgery and anti-party activities.
The Ward Chairman, Martins Osigbemhe, at a press conference, explained that Abure was suspended by the executive, pending the determination of the numerous petitions and cases against him in courts.
Martins while reading the statement of Abure’s suspension signed by seven out of 11 member ward executives, accused him of illegally substituting candidates of the party in the recently concluded general elections.
But Umar in a statement clarified that it is only the national convention that can suspend the national chairman of the party, adding that it must also be through such a convention called for the suspension of the national chairman.
He said, “The attention of the leadership of the Labour Party was called to the press conference held today Friday, March 31, 2023, by some unknown faces assembled in one room in Abuja wherein they pronounced a suspension on our national chairman, Julius Abure. They also made some spurious allegations against him which are untrue and concocted by the sponsors of the press conference. We however deemed it fit to make some responses.
“The young men we saw on that visuals are not anybody from Labour Party in Edo State as claimed. The executives of the party in the State, Local Government and my ward are well known to the party. None of them was at the press conference. We make bold to say that they are people assembled and rented from some Abuja slums and paid to read a prepared speech given to them.
“Again, our party’s constitution is clear on who can suspend and who cannot suspend the National chairman. They should go and read the party’s constitution. It is only the national convention that can suspend the national chairman of the Labour Party. It also must be through such a convention called for the suspension of the national chairman.
“We think that the sudden suspension was an afterthought of some opposition parties purely to distract the leadership of the Labour Party at this time. There is no reasonable party member at this point who will be thinking of such a thing when we are pursuing our presidential mandate in the court and all other mandates including the Governorship, Senate and House of Representatives that were brazenly stolen.
“Who will be contemplating the suspension of any national party official at this point? It is on record that for the first time in the history of the party, the Abure-led leadership has succeeded to change the political narratives in the country. A party from the blues competing with the top two political parties and in the process, won eight Senate and 34 House of Representatives as well as numerous House of Assembly seats. We also won a governorship seat while we are in court to retrieve other mandates including the presidency.
“This is certainly not a matter that should be given serious attention by the media. We ordinarily should be talking to our lawyers by now but the fact that you are dealing with faceless individuals who are been sponsored is.
“We are also calling on Nigerians to distance themselves from politicians who take pleasure in maligning political leaders, especially, politicians who are afraid of the rising profile of our national chairman, Julius Abure.”