Despite confirmation by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that Mr Akin Osuntokun remains the senatorial candidate of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) for Ekiti Central, National Chairman of the Party Chief Dan Nwanyanwu says Osuntokun left the Party in August.
Osuntokun was announced recently as the Director-General of the Obi-Datti Campaign Organization, a replacement for Doyin Okupe after a court convicted him of a crime of money laundering.
Osuntokun’s appointment had pitched Obi against his critics, who also accused him of working with people with questionable backgrounds, even as many see the appointment as ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo’s overbearing influence on Obi.
But the National Chairman of Zenith Labour Party Chief Dan Nwanyanwu, who also doubles as the presidential candidate of ZLP, denied that Osuntokun is still a member of his Party.
In a statement Thursday, Nwanyanwu said his intervention was to end the controversy surrounding the appointment of Akin Osuntokun by Peter Obi.
“The controversy generated by the appointment of Mr Akin Osuntoku as the DG of H/E Peter OBI Campaign Organization is uncalled for. Akin Osuntoku resigned from the Zenith Labour Party in August 2022 and, therefore no longer a member of our Party. Before he resigned from ZLP, he held the ticket as a Senatorial Candidate in Ekiti State. At the time of his resignation, we could not replace him because the window allowed by the Electoral Act for substitution had elapsed. We hold no grudge because it is his fundamental right to associate and exit from any organisation,” he said.
However, INEC says that no individual or political Party was at liberty to withdraw a candidate duly presented to it as the window for such elapsed long ago.