Transparency and Integrity


Obi’s New Campaign DG Fraud, — Suspended LP Spokesperson


LP Crisis Deepens, As Suspended Spokesperson, Arabambi Reveals Newly Appointed DG For Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Is The Senatorial Candidate For Zenith Labour Party.

The recently suspended Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party, Abayomi Arabambi, has faulted Tuesday’s appointment of Akin Osuntokun as the Director General of the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council.

Arabambi, who disclosed that Obi’s new campaign DG is the senatorial candidate for Zenith Labour Party representing Ekiti Central district, accused him of being fraudulent and deceitful.

Osuntokun however denied being a member of the ZLP and according to him, he never had the said senatorial ambition as speculated.

The former political aide to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo was announced as the new campaign helmsman in Abuja during a strategic meeting of the LP candidates and the National Working Committee of the party.

Osuntokun replaced former DG of the Obi-Datti Campaign Organisation, Doyin Okupe, who announced his resignation in a letter last Tuesday following a Federal High Court ruling in Abuja that convicted him of violating Money Laundering Act.

Arabambi maintained that Osuntokun’s appointment was obtained with “fraudulent intentions, mischief, distortion and suppression of facts,” an act he described as insult on the collective integrity of Nigerians.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the suspended image maker of the party disclosed that Osuntokun could not be trusted with such a position as a result of several factors, which included “divided loyalty, deliberate falsehood and political infraction.”

Defending his claim, Arabambi urged a correspondent from Punch to get a list of the Independent National Electoral Commission containing the names of 2023 election candidates.

According to him, Osuntokun remains the ZLP senatorial candidate for Ekiti central district.

The presidential candidate of the ZLP is Dan Nwanyanwu, who also doubles as the party’s national chairman.

Arabambi said, “In the list of candidates just cleared by INEC for the National Assembly elections, Akin Osuntokun’s name and particulars were there, and this show that he is a member of the ZLP and also its National Assembly candidate.

“From available record, the ZLP has its own presidential candidate and vice presidential candidate. How then will he be leading our party campaign from another party?

“We are also sure that Akin Osuntokun has not resigned from the ZLP, neither has he secured a court order from a competent court of jurisdiction to delete his name from INEC list as the 90 days deadline allowed for substitution of candidates by political parties has lapsed.

“He is now presently the Ekiti central senatorial candidate of the Zenith Labour Party, meaning he is contesting against Peter Obi and the LP on Feb 25, 2023. So which interest will he be serving at the Presidential Campaign Council?

“The costly mistake made by the LP to have picked Osuntokun among arrays of eminently qualified and dedicated members of the Party may have a devastating effect on the victory of our candidate, His Excellency, Peter Obi, and Ahmed Datti, if we fail to act now.

“For some of us that are neck deep in ensuring that we have a new Nigeria under the headship of Peter Obi as the President, we will not have option but seek legal means to remove Akin Osuntokun as campaign DG if he fails to throw in the towel within four days. Enough of having all these questionable characters involvement in our party affairs.”

Meanwhile, findings by The PUNCH confirmed the claim of Arabambi that Osuntokun was indeed listed as a senatorial candidate for the 2023 ballot.

Sitting on number 392 on page 57 of INEC register was the name ‘Osuntokun Olusola Akintola’, representing Ekiti Central on the platform of the ZLP.

When called for a reaction, Osuntokun told our correspondent that the issue was of no relevance.

He said, “That’s a redundant issue. I have left the ZLP. It was actually the Constitution that I wrote. Dan Nwanyanwu was the chairman of (Zenith) Labour Party. It was at his insistence that I entered the party because I thought it was Labour Party.

“That was until I discovered it was the Zenith Labour Party. So I am not a member of the ZLP anyway. That’s why I said it is a redundant issue. It is of no consequence.”

When asked if he had quashed his dream of pursuing the senatorial race on the platform of the ZLP, Osuntokun stated that he did not actualise or push for the position ab initio.

“Of course, I never took it up in the first instance. You can go and verify the case for yourself. You can ask even the ZLP leaders as well Nwanyanwu who is the chairman himself,” he said. 

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