THE Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the February 25 elections, Peter Obi, has described as ‘cheap blackmail’ the allegation that he bribed Rufai Oseni, a journalist with Arise TV.
This followed a claim made by a former aide of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan Reno Omokri.
Omokri alleged that Obi financially sponsored the funeral of Oseni’s dad.
Reacting to the allegation in a series of tweets on his personal X account, formerly known as Twitter, Obi described the allegation as cheap blackmail.
He described Oseni as “the courageous journalist who has been doing his job professionally”.
According to the former governor of Anambra State, Oseni has frequently challenged him fearlessly and has always stood up for what is right.
“Ordinarily, I do not get involved in name-calling and mud-slinging, neither do I attack people nor try to defame their personalities in the course of my political journey.
“I have also avoided replying to cheap, wicked, or malicious blackmails publicly or openly in the same irresponsible manner they are thrown at me.
“Anyone who has followed my corporate and political life knows that I always stay on issues, with my focus on finding solutions to societal challenges and ameliorating people’s suffering,” Obi tweeted.
He described the allegation as a “categorical lie from the pit of hell.”
He said everyone who knows him can attest that he doesn’t give anyone money to promote his name.
He claimed he has never monetarily induced any journalist to speak or write in his favour.
Obi said that witnesses may confirm that he always accepts invitations to social gatherings like birthday parties and wakes.
He continued by saying he had never visited Oseni’s village and had no idea where the journalist was originally from.
“As it is obtainable in Igbo tradition, I always attend such events with some gifts to support the celebrant.
“I have never been to Rufai’s village. Even at the point of writing this, I do not know where he is from. One then wonders why people could decide to tarnish other people’s image for no justifiable reason.
“To those involved in such evil endeavours, I wish them well and pray to God to have mercy on them,” he added.
Obi stated that he is dedicated to helping Nigeria overcome its problems and that its various problems should be the major focus of attention.
On Tuesday, August 1, the Presidential Election Tribunal reserved judgment on the petitions filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Atiku Abubakar and Obi against the outcome of the February 25 presidential election.
In different suits, Atiku and Obi are challenging President Bola Tinubu’s declaration as the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).