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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Tinubu Campaign Group Ask INEC To Disqualify Peter Obi Over Diaspora Funding

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been asked to disqualify Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi over Diaspora funding for his campaign.

The call was made in a statement released on Saturday by the Tinubu-Shettima Connect, a campaign group for All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Bola Tinubu.

In the statement signed by its convener, Adebanjo Moyosore, the group also threatened to take legal action against Obi to stop him from participating in the 2023 presidential election for allegedly engaging in activities that contravene the Electoral Act 2022.

LP chairman Julius Abure had on Thursday inaugurated an 11-man committee to drive the party’s Diaspora movement.

Abure, while inaugurating the committee in Abuja said that the move was to strengthen collaboration among people and galvanise support for the party ahead of 2023 general election.

He added that the committee would also recommend to the national chairman, the creation of Diaspora chapters and monitor their activities.

The LP chairman also said the committee would organise fund-raising for the party’s candidates.

The inauguration came a day after the party’s Diaspora support groups pledged to raise $150 million for Obi’s campaign.

However, Moyosore said it was not only illegal but criminal to raise campaign funds from abroad through unknown sources or unidentified groups.

He said it was “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 deliberate 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”.

Moyosere added in the statement, “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; or

“(b) retains any fund or other asset remitted to it from outside Nigeria in contravention of section 225 (3) (a) of the Constitution commits an offence and shall on conviction forfeit the funds or assets to the Commission and in addition may be liable to a fine of at least N5,000,000.”

Also, citing a provision of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), he said the law forbids possession of funds by the candidate or political party from overseas.

He called on INEC to act and save the country’s democracy from the hands “of some desperate Nigerians.”

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