THE Chairman of the Labour Party (LP) in Ogun state, Michael Ashade, has said Doyin Okupe, the party’s presidential campaign director, was expelled for mishandling N20 million mobilisation funds among other offenses.
The ICIR had reported how Ogun State Labour Party expelled Okupe and 11 others over their failure to pay their membership dues.
However, the National Secretary of the Labour Party, Umar Farouk stated that the State Chapter lacks the constitutional right to remove Okupe and 10 other members of the party.
Reacting to the development on Saturday, December 4, on Arise TV, Ashade explained that in addition to his failure to meet up with financial obligations as a member of the party, Okupe was expelled for mishandling the mobilisation fund.
He said the fund was allotted to the state chapter by the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) but Okupe only released N4 million out of the approved N20 million to mobilise the state’s party members to the presidential rally in Oyo State last month.
“Our grouse is not just the fact that he has been found wanting on his financial obligation as a member, we also highlighted certain deeds that occurred during the rally at Ibadan in which members in Ogun State were expected to be mobilised for that rally. And certain financial anomalies occurred which we highlighted there. And we have discovered that certain amounts of money were approved for the states by the campaign council and we are asking where are the funds,” Ashade said.
“It’s unfortunate maybe he didn’t know it will get to this, because I have a chat he sent me saying that he was personally paying the mobilisation of members from Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo, and Osun states for the Oyo State rally saying that there is no official amount approved. But, N20 million was approved specifically for Ogun State to mobilise members.
“We estimated 200 buses for the members, and it was turned down. It was reduced to 100 buses and forwarded to him, but he still rejected it saying no, that there are no funds that he was personally funding it. He came up with an estimate of N5,195,000, saying that was what he could personally afford. But it was less than that. About N4 million was what was gathered.
“It’s so appalling that the budget we did, every member that goes there, a certain amount should be given to them, at least N5,000 as a token. He said no, N1,000 will be given. I said that is ridiculous. I, as a chairman of the party cannot be in that position and be giving N1,000 to every member who left their home to Ibadan, and he said it’s for feeding.”
LP National Secretary, Farouk, had earlier said the Ogun State chapter lacked the powers to expel Okupe.
“The Ogun State chapter acted outside its constitutional jurisdiction,” Farouk had said at a press conference in Abuja.
Farouk noted that the national leadership of the LP was aware of moves by opponents to destabilise the party.
Nurudeen Akewushola is an investigative reporter and fact-checker with The ICIR. He believes courageous in-depth investigative reporting is the key to social justice, accountability and good governance in the society. You can shoot him a scoop via firstname.lastname@example.org and @NurudeenAkewus1 on Twitter.