Minister, Kwara Rep fight dirty over N70m campaign fund

Tunde Oyekola

5 July 2021

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THE member of the House of Representatives, representing Ekiti/Isin/ Irepodun/Oke-Ero Federal Constituency of Kwara State, AbdulRaheem Olawuyi, has denied allegations that he misappropriated N70m campaign funds meant for the 2018 bye -election.

Olawuyi, who spoke to reporters in Ilorin on Sunday, was responding to allegations levelled against him by the Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

Mohammed while inaugurating a parallel APC State Secretariat, in Ilorin, on Saturday, said, “I want them to explain to Nigerians about what happened to the N70m that Hon. Olawuyi said that the governor refused to give us during the by-election.

“But for the grace of God and some friends there would be no election in November 2018, because when we raised money, we gave them but two days before the election we could not reach them through their phones again.”

In response, Olawuyi accused the minister of being economical with the truth.

He explained that in the build up to the by-election, “a North Central State Governor reached out to me on personal grounds to donate to the 2018 by-election and when the minister got wind of the donation, he immediately reached out to me and asked me to bring the money.

“However, I immediately contacted a few of our trusted party elders to intimate them of the development, but they counselled me against sending the money to the minister based on his antecedent with money.

“Also, on my own, I personally gave Alhaji Lai Muhammed the sum of N32.5m, with the full knowledge of the former party chairman, Bashiru Bolarinwa, for election purposes; the minister and Bashir Bolarinwa cannot deny this except there is no conscience left.

Olawuyi equally revealed that an unnamed senior Federal Government official informed Governor Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq who was then the candidate of the APC,  that Lai Mohammed reached out to him and claimed that there was no money for the campaign for the bye-election in Kwara.

The lawmaker further said, “The official whose name I won’t mention here, spoke and pleaded with our governorship candidate (now the governor) and asked him to release N50m to the minister, which was released but the money was never accounted for nor used for campaign purposes.

“Now, if anyone is to be accused of mismanaging the 2018 campaign fund, it should be nobody other than Lai Mohammed, who till date cannot give details of how the money was spent.”

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