Stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress under the aegis of Abia Interest Group have warned Governor Alex Otti to stop allegedly funding the legal case of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
Otti is the only serving governor on the platform of the Labour Party.
But the leadership of the Labour Party told The PUNCH in an exclusive interview that there was no iota of truth in the claim, saying the former Anambra State governor is funding his legal battle alone.
Obi, who came third in the 2023 presidential election, is currently challenging the victory of President Bola Tinubu in court.
The development is coming barely 24 hours after the National President of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, Ambali Olatunji, also accused the Abia governor of meddling in the affairs of NULGE in the state.
Olatunji also lamented that the union was unhappy with Otti over his alleged recent imposition of his stooges as the executives of the union in the state.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday, the group reiterated its claim that if the state governor was allowed to continue funding Obi’s presidential case, it would have a negative effect on the economy, welfare and development of the state.
A spokesman for the APC stakeholders, Henry Chigozie, said the funding of Obi’s case could also deprive their people of the dividends of democracy.
He said, “We, the Abia Interest Group, have observed with dismay that Mr. Alex Otti is funding the presidential court case of Mr Peter Obi with Abia money. This is unacceptable. In Otti’s Abia, transparency and accountability have been relegated to the background. No one knows the costs of projects or contractors working on projects in Abia.
“This is to continuously siphon and inflate project cost so that Mr Alex Otti can be using Abia funds to sponsor Labour Party operations across Nigeria in his nefarious desire to destabilise the progressive government of Nigeria under the able leadership of President Asiwaju Tinubu.
“In view of the foregoing, we wish to draw the attention of the nation, well-meaning Abians and the relevant security agencies to these sinister activities and urge all concerned to take necessary steps to ensure that the interest of our great state and nation is not jeopardised.”
Another Abia stakeholder, Dr. Stephen Ukpai-Ukwa, said the Labour Party-led government should bear in mind that the youths of the state were watching and would resist any act that would endanger the wellbeing of the people.
“Mr. Governor should know that Abia youths will resist any act that will cause problems between us and the President of Nigeria. We will resist any act that will endanger the lives of Abia people.
“So, any act that will lead to the mismanagement of Abia State funds should stop forthwith,” he stated.
Reacting, National Legal Adviser of LP, Kehinde Edun, said Obi did not need anyone to fund his legal battle.
Edun also kicked against the report, saying it was obviously peddled by those who were jealous of Otti’s giant strides in the state.
He said, “That is false. Obi doesn’t need anybody’s money to fund his case and many of our lawyers are so committed to the case that they are not even doing it for money.
“So if anybody is claiming Otti is funding the case for Obi, it is a big lie. Obi has enough money to handle the case on his own. Money has never been our problem in the Labour Party. Our team is also so desirous of being part of the movement for a new Nigeria. They are doing it with all their hearts.
“It is obvious they are jealous of what the man has been able to achieve within a short time in Abia. The man has done far more in his 100 days in office than his predecessor who even spent eight years in office. That was because he was well prepared for the office. Let the people assess what has come to the state and what the man has so far done, they will see the difference.”