Peter Obi denies sponsoring burial of Rufai Oseni’s father
Peter Obi, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 Presidential election, has refuted the claim by Reno Omokri that he sponsored the burial ceremony of Rufai Oseni’s father.
Omokri, the spokesperson to former President Goodluck Jonathan, recently alleged that in August 2022, Obi gave cash to the broadcast journalist to fund his father’s burial.
He claimed that the money “influenced Oseni’s open bias in favour of Obi” during the build-up to the 2023 general election.Omokri wrote, “AriseTV and Mr Rufai Oseni should kindly answer the following question. Did Mr Peter Obi, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, fund the funeral of Mr Rufai Oseni’s father by giving him money in cash or via electronic means, either directly or through a third party, in August 2022, and has that influenced Mr. Oseni’s open bias in favour of Peter Obi, whereby Mr. Oseni usee the AriseTV platform as a medium to campaign for and launder the image of Mr Peter Obi, and his undisguised personal animosity towards me for my refusal to support Mr Peter Obi’s Presidential ambition?”
Reacting to Omokri’s claims on Monday, August 28, 2023, Obi in a statement on X (formerly Twitter) said he has never paid any journalist to speak or write in favour of him.
Describing Omokri’s allegation as a lie, Obi said he has neither been to Oseni’s village nor does he know where he comes from. The statement reads in part, “Let me clearly state that this is a categorical lie. It is not true, cannot be true, and will never be true. Everyone who understands or follows my approach to things will attest to the fact that I do not give anyone money to promote my name, Obi said.
“I have never and will never monetarily induce any journalist to speak or write in my favour. When I am invited to birthday celebrations or funerals, people know that I do attend. Countless journalists, media personnel, the less privileged, the wealthy etc, have all invited me to their occasions, and they will attest to the fact that I honour such invitations, especially when people are grieving. I have never been to Rufai’s village. Even at the point of writing this, I do not know where he is from.”
Obi said he decided to respond to the “cheap blackmail against him” because it involved one of “Nigeria’s best Television presenters.”