•National publicity secretary, PCC trade blame

Emameh Gabriel in Abuja

Less than five weeks after the inauguration of its presidential campaigns council (PCC), the chances of Labour Party in the 2023 polls is being threatened by allegations of corruption.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Arabambi Abayomi, who spoke exclusively with THISDAY, alleged a grand conspiracy against him by the Doyin Okupe-led group in the party, he has also vowed to expose him (Okupe) and other members of the party involved in the alleged diversion of funds meant to prosecute the party’s presidential election.

However, the party has threatened to punish its National Publicity Secretary for working against it ahead of the 2023 election.

Ogun State Chapter of Labour Party had in separate press briefing held last week, passed a vote of no confidence on the National Chairman of the party, Julius Abure and the National Organising Secretary of the party who also doubled as the General Secretary of the PCC, Chief Clement Ojukwu.

The Ogun State chapter had also demanded the immediate dissolution of the entire party’s PCC over alleged lopsidedness in its composition, stressing that the composition of its PCC did not reflect the federal character, unlike what was contained in the constitution of the party.

Arabambi who has distanced himself from the activities of Labour Party since the inauguration of the party’s PCC, disclosed to THISDAY that his grouse was with Okupe, who he accused of importing corruption into Labour Party.

Arabambi lamented that his life had been under threat since he challenged Okupe to refund the N50 million former president Goodluck Jonathan gave to Labour Party during the 2015 presidential election.

“This is my 13 years in Labour Party. People cannot just come into the party and in four months they will be telling us that they know more than us in the party.

“My life is under threat by Dr Doyin Okupe, my life is under threat by Ojukwu. I have the right to protect my life that is why I dissociated myself.

“The main cause of the matter is Doyin Okupe. We (LP) supported Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 and Jonathan gave Labour Party N50 million that was diverted by Doyin Okupe.

“These were the issues that I raised and concerning some documents and all of them now said, let us come against this guy because I told him that he has to refund that money. Okupe and others never knew providence would bring us together in Labour Party. They didn’t expect it,” he said.

Arabambi vowed to seek redress in court on the matter.

He said: “As I speak to you Okupe has purchased two brand new Range Rovers worth N65 million each. This was Okupe that was using an old Sienna before he came to Labour Party.

“Okupe has not given N1 to Labour Party ever since he joined the party. He should provide evidence.

“I am the National Publicity Secretary, the Constitution of the party is expressly cleared that I shall handle all promotion, advertisement, campaign banners and anything that has to do with publicity. It’s there in the constitution.

“But it was just a gang-up of which I am still going to challenge in the court. There is serious corruption going on in Labour Party that we are going to have a day for in court.”

However, in reaction to Arabambi’s allegations, Labour Party has issued him a warning, saying it would not hesitate to activate penalty measures against him for his underperformance in office.

In a letter personally signed by the National Secretary of the Party, Alhaji Umar Farouk Ibrahim, the party expressed worries over his recent public conduct which the party said it would no longer condole.

 The letter reads in part: “Dear Mr. Arabambi, Your recent behaviour and public conducts in matters related to party affairs have come to the notice of members of the National Working Committee and indeed members of the National Executive Council of the party with dismay.

“While emphasising that some of your unsatisfactory performance have demonstrated your inability or unwillingness to conform to expected standards of public relations officers and spokespersons of the party.

“It is therefore necessary to initiate this corrective action to cause you to understand that not only are your behaviours unacceptable, but also that we are at a point where such performance and unacceptable conduct can no longer be tolerated.

“You have been verbally counseled on numerous occasions concerning your public performance and conduct in relation to party affairs.

“You are hereby advised that disciplinary action may be taken if your behaviour and conduct do not improve and conform with the party’s constitution and code of conduct.”

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