By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
The leadership of the Labour Party(LP) in Osun State has suspended its chairman, Prince Bello Adebayo for alleged embezzlement of N34million meant for polling agents who worked for the party during the 2023 general elections.
The embezzled funds also covered what was earmarked for publicity for the presidential candidate of the party during the election, Peter Obi.
Adebayo’s suspension was conveyed by the party’s executives of his ward, Ward 12, Osogbo Local Government Area, led by its chairman, Hammed Sheriff.
Briefing newsmen in Osogbo on Tuesday, Sheriff said: “Our action for suspending Bello Adebayo was hinged on Article 19(1B) (2B) subsections 2,3,4 and 5. He carried out anti-party propaganda and his failure to attend Ward meeting for about 10 times without cogent reason.”
Meanwhile, the chairmen of the party across all local governments area of the state, led by Raheem Taiwo-Ojo (Ede South) have passed a vote of confidence on the acting Chairman of the party, Chief Sussan Ojo.
They also dissociated themselves from the ‘illegal’ suspension of the National Legal Adviser of the party, Akingbade Oyelekan and Sussan Ojo by the suspended chairman.
Chief Ojo alleged that the N4 million released by the party’s presidential candidate to Adebayo for publicity was not paid to the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council (LPPCC) and after the 2023 general election, adding that the N30 million meant for polling agents given to him was also embezzled.
“Comrade Lanre Fadahunsi who is the SW Coordinator of Big Tent and the Chairman of Media Committee of the LPPCC, Barrister Jimoh Babalola featured on both radio and TV stations marketing Peter Obi and canvassing for votes. The funds spent on this were not given by Adebayo (as it was promised). It took the intervention of the Peter Obi Presidential Campaign Spokesman, Dr. Umar Tanko before he could release part of the money.
“Also, polling agents tasked with the responsibility of submitting Form EC8A after the elections were not compensated despite the fact that he was given N30million to pay polling unit agents that submitted the Forms EC8A. “Now the leaders of LPPCC are being chased around by those who submitted these forms, while Bello had collected and cornered their funds,” she added.
Reacting to his suspension, Adebayo said: “There is no substantive exco for ward 12. Their tenure has expired because they didn’t even make the congress which was May last year. So there is no substantive exco for ward 12 and that is one of their failure.”
On the allegations levelled against him, he said: “The only money send to us then was N300,000 and the money was send to us by Chief Akinosun Tokun. The evidence is there; they can contact him. I didn’t know what transpired during the presidential campaign. They don’t have any locust standi to suspend any elected officers in Osun.”
It would be recalled Prince Adebayo, last week suspended the National Legal Adviser, state women leader, and 11 local government chairmen for alleged anti-party activities.