Allied Congress Party of Nigeria threatens to sue Ezekwesili unless she returns money generated

FORMER education minister Obiageli Ezekwesili has been threatened with legal action by the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) unless she refunds all the money generated for her presidential bid when she was their candidate.


In January, Dr Ezekwesili announced that she was withdrawing from the presidential race to allow for the emergence of a consensus candidate to challenge the two main parties the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Shortly after Dr Ezekwesili made the announcement, her party objected to the move, saying she did not discuss the matter with anyone before taking the decision.


Alhaji Ganiyu Galadima, the ACPN national chairman and Dr Ezekwesili's running mate, said that the party would now withdraw her candidacy and give to somebody else. Alhaji Galadima is also said to have endorsed President Buhari as his preferred presidential candidate.


In a further twist, Alhaji Galadima, said the party rejected the defence made by Dr Ezekwesili, who had accused the leadership of greed and desperation for money. He added that the former education minister needed to know that a political party was different from a charity organisation or the #BringBackOurGirls movement.


He said: “We wanted to know all the contents of the accounts and see the accounts because at the end of the day, it is not the presidential candidate that the Independent National Electoral Commission will hold responsible but the party and whatever any candidate generated for his or her campaign belongs to the party. We are expecting that she will respond at the appropriate time but if she doesn’t, we may be compelled to go to court.


“For somebody who wants to contest for the presidency, all you could generate for period of three months was just N43m ($118,341) and she spent everything. She did not disclose the sources of the fund and how much she generated."


According to Alhaji Galadima from all indications, Dr Ezekwesili did not have capacity to contest a presidential election. He added: “Look at Omoyele Sowore, he publicly disclosed on a national TV recently that his campaign and the party had been able to generate N99m ($272,460) and in addition, he also told the world how the money could be traced.


“So why is there no transparency in Madam Ezekwesili’s project? That is the bone of contention. We are expecting that she will respond at the appropriate time but if she doesn’t, we may be compelled to go to court to seek for order of Mandamus.”