Days after an embarrassing row over an alleged N20m fraud led to the dissolution of the leadership of its Ogun state chapter, Peter Obi’s Labour Party continues to be dogged by financial scandal with news that the chairman of its Taraba State chapter, Esther Gulum, has been suspended from office for allegedly diverting N21m campaign funds.
Ms Gulum’s suspension was announced by the party’s Organising Secretary, Peter Philip, who also accused her of running the party’s affairs through a closed circle of friends and family members.
His charges of nepotism and non-transparency against the chairman reechoed a criticism that has trailed the party’s operations across the country. Peter Obi, the party’s presidential candidate, has himself faced allegations of treating the party as a personal fiefdom.
Philip further accused the suspended chairman of displaying a lack of accountability as evidenced by her alleged receipt of party funds into private bank accounts. While this may have proved the death knell for Ms Esther Gulum, candidate Obi has displayed the same as uncovered by PODIUM REPORTERS in an exclusive report detailing how the former Anambra governor re-directed public donations for his unlikely ambition to accounts linked to him.
Ms Gulum’s suspension over a possible fraud is the latest financial scandal to hit the Labour Party in an embarrassing and deeply damaging streak that has shredded the reputation of the party and undermined its candidate’s posturing as an upstanding political actor.
Besides the row in Ogun State in which Labour Party’s campaign director, Doyin Okupe, was accused of carting away N20M meant to bribe people to attend the party’s lacklustre Oyo rally, support for it has also cratered in Edo State after various support groups were reported to have raised and absconded with public donations earmarked for campaign activities.