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2023: Pro-Tinubu group wants Obi, Datti disqualified over diaspora funding



2023: Pro-Tinubu group wants Obi, Datti disqualified over diaspora funding

A group loyal to the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, under the auspices of Tinubu-Shettima Connect, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disqualify the flag bearer of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, and his running mate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, from the 2023 presidential election for soliciting funds from Nigerians in the Diaspora.

The group also threatened to institute legal action against Obi and Datti as well as the electoral body to prevent Labour Party from participating in the 2023 presidential election as the Diaapora funding was in contravention of the Electoral Act 2022.

In a statement signed by the convener of the Tinubu-Shettima Connect, Adebanjo Moyosore, and made available to Ripples Nigeria on Sunday, the group said it was illegal to raise campaign funds from abroad through unknown sources or unidentified groups, insisting that the LP and its candidates should be made to face consequences of going against the electoral act.

The pro-Tinubu group which said it was worried with the inauguration of an 11-man Diaspora Committee to organise fund-raising activities by the National Chairman of Labour Party, Bar. Julius Abure, at the national headquarters of the party in Abuja last week, after the party reported that its Diaspora support groups had pledged to support the Obi campaign team with $150m and N100bn.

Read also: Peter Obi renews call for competent leadership in Nigeria

The statement added that the inauguration of a Diaspora Committee by the leadership of Labour Party to gather campaign funds from Nigerians abroad for Obi’s presidential campaign was not only illegal but also criminal.

“It is a matter of great public concern as the country has moved from its old practice with INEC trying to put perfection to the electoral process.

“Unfortunately, a few individuals who think they can get away with delibrate act to undermine the electoral law of the land, have already started making sinister moves even when the campaigns are yet to begin in earnest.

“Section 85 of the Electoral Act has clearly explained this. Also, Section 85 (a) (b) provides that any political party that:

“(a) holds or possesses any fund outside Nigeria in contravention of section 225 (3) (a) of the Constitution, commits an offence, and shall on conviction forfeit the funds or assets purchased with such funds to the Commission and in addition may be liable to a fine of at least N5,000,000.

“We therefore call on INEC to act and save our democracy from the hands of some desperate Nigerians,” part of the statement reads.

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