False. Peter Obi Did Not Give N2 Billion To Churches

Oluwaseye Ogunsanya 

Claim

A viral petition claimed that Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi gave N2 billion to churches in the country

Verdict 

False. The Labour Party, the president of CAN and Peter Obi dismissed the allegations in the petition. 

Full Text 

A viral petition claimed that Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi gave N2 billion to churches in the country. 

According to the petition titled “PETITION ON THE MISAPPROPRIATION OF N2 BILLION GIVEN BY THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OF LABOUR PARTY, MR PETER OBI TO THE CHURCHES UNDER THE UMBRELLA OF CAN, CATHOLIC BISHOPS AND THE PENTECOSTAL FELLOWSHIP OF NIGERIA (PFN); TO FURTHER DRIVE HIS MANDATE DURING THE YULETIDE SEASON IN CHURCHES AND TO BE RECEIVED IN AUDIENCE BY THE VARIOUS BODIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY” and dated 15th December 2022, one Frank Onwumere, said to be a senior pastor at the “Dominion Centre International” in Okigwe, Imo state, questioned the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on how the fund was disbursed among churches.

The said fund was said to be gifted by Obi to the churches “to help and assist in mobilising and convincing their congregation to vote massively” for his candidacy.

Verification 

FactCheckElections found out that the allegation leveled against Peter Obi in the petition has been dismissed by the Obi-Datti campaign team describing it as “blackmail stuff”.

According to a statement by its media office on Sunday, the campaign team said the petition was “concocted to tarnish the hard-earned reputation” of the party’s presidential candidate.

The statement reads in part: “Our mission in the Obidient Movement this day is to alert and warn discerning minds, especially those desirous to see a new Nigeria emerge through Peter Obi, to ignore and treat as thrash any doctored and faked items on Obi,

“Anything they are bringing now after their long fruitless search is concocted to tarnish the hard-earned reputation of the candidate and should be disregarded.”

The campaign team also urged the public to disregard the petition. 

Similarly, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has also denied knowing of the cash gift alleged to be given by Peter Obi to churches in the petition.

In a statement on Sunday, the CAN president, Daniel Okoh, denied the claim, adding that the association is non-partisan and will not endorse or mobilise support for any candidate.

The statement reads in part: “The attention of the National leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has been drawn to a purported letter currently in circulation on social media, alleging that a certain sum of N2bn was given by the presidential candidate of Labour party, Mr Peter Obi to Churches under the umbrella of CAN.

“I use this medium to categorically state that the so-called letter of petition reportedly signed by one Pastor Frank Onwumere and addressed to my office is illogical and can best be described as a failed attempt to drag the apex Christian body into the politics of 2023.

“However, we will investigate the source of the letter in the interest of the public.

“To set the records straight, I am not aware of any N2bn given to Churches in Nigeria to mobilise votes for any 2023 presidential candidate and never received the said petition dated December 22, 2022″ 

Okoh urged members of the public to disregard the purported letter of petition as its content are not only untrue, but malicious.

The Labour Party Presidential candidate also denied the claim on Monday while speaking on Channels TV programme, 2023 Verdict.

He said: “I have not given one naira to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), they should be the ones giving me money”

Conclusion

With the press statements from Labour Party campaign team, the president of CAN and Peter Obi himself, FactCheckElections can conclude that the claim is false. 

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