Aba: The Labour Party, LP, Governorship candidate, Mr Peter Obi has been urged to avoid Dr Alex Otti, the Party’s Abia State Governorship candidate “like the plague” to avoid having his integrity driven campaign being stained by the ex-bankers alleged frauds, controversies and corruption scandals.
In a statement issued on Tuesday in Aba, Abia State, signed by High Chief Ndubuisi Obia, National Coordinator, Obidients Across Party Alliance (OAPA), urged Obi to “flee from Otti like the plague” on account of his “several fraud cases and shady character”
The statement reads:
“Obidient Across Party Alliance (OAPA), a pressure group aimed at mobilizing support for the Labour Party Presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, across party lines wishes to warn our beloved principal, Mr Peter Obi to flee from the Abia State Labour Party, LP, Governorship candidate, Dr Alex Chioma Otti to avoid getting his integrity driven campaign stained and derailed by Otti’s frauds, controversies and corruption scandals.
Firstly, Otti is a first class bank liquidator, whose tenure as Diamond Bank MD was a study in corporate mismanagement, outright failure, manipulation of books and cover up of brazen proportions, the most massive type ever executed in Nigeria banking industry.
The revelations following his exit from the bank were so damning that the new management of the bank sacked every staff that joined the bank with Otti, especially those in its risk management office who were brought in by Otti from First Bank where he previously worked and was equally eased out.
.In due course, the board of the bank realized the full extent of Otti’s mismanagement of the bank and a year later had to declare 78% decline in profit as widely reported by different newspapers including Thisday where Otti later pitched his tent as a columnist.
According to reports presented on the floor of the Nigeria Stock Exchange where Diamond Bank published its audited financial year 2015 and first quarter 2016 results,while gross earnings growth slowed to record low, N55.2bn credit, impairment charges also led to a 77.8% decline in net income on account of huge exposure of loan portfolio to Oil & Gas (29.0%) and General Commerce (20.0%).
The report indicated that Profitability of the bank remained pressured by loan impairment provisions which arose from previous bad and non performing loans granted in the Otti era. Industry watchers estimated the bad loans granted by Otti to be in excess of N200bn and the bank had to make provisions for them.
Insiders at the bank recount stories of near bankruptcy of the owners of the bank by the activities of Otti which led to Chief Paschal Dozie selling off his shares in MTN Nigeria to refinance the bank. The bank’s management also laid off hundreds of staff in its employ while Otti stashed away millions of dollars made from his back hand deals in USA with the help of proxies.
Even while running for office of Governor in 2015, Otti whose financial war chest almost overwhelmed the ruling party in Abia State, was a regular guest of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abuja, where several of his case files remain open.
One of such cases was used by the EFCC to arm-twist him into agreeing with EFCC to be a witness in the trial of former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, whom the agency considers a bigger political fish, in exchange for suspension of Otti’s trial to a later date.
Furthermore, Otti surreptitiously tried to execute a hostile take over of Diamond bank from Chief Dozie using a South African front. The discovery of the plot led to the negotiated exit arrangement between Otti and the Board to allow him a honorable exit from the bank to avoid a major scandal that would have seen to the collapse of the bank in 2014.
The most scandalous was the evidence given by Senator Musiliu Obanikoro in a Lagos High Court in February 2019 that he verbally instructed Otti to authorize the withdrawal of the sum of 1.2 Billion Naira from the account of a Company, Slyvan McNamara Ltd, an instruction that Otti carried out.
“The Senator admitted that he was not a signatory to the said account and that no form of documentation was done in respect of the transaction.”
Till date, Otti the bank liquidator is yet to disprove Obanikoro’s evidence under oath or sue him to court for perjury!
“The people of Abia State cannot entrust their state into the hands of a man who has no regard for clear regulatory stipulations.”
Again, controversies trail his true origin. At times, he claims to be from Arochukwu and on other occasions, depending on convenience or his audience, he claims to be from Isiala Ngwa.
For instance, in 2015, he claimed to be from Isiala Ngwa, enabling him to contest the Abia Governorship election zoned to Abia South Senatorial District. Now, he is claiming to be from Arochukwu, so as to justify his contesting the election as someone from Abia North Senatorial District.
On the controversy about his true origin, he has given various answers on various occasions and at various dates such as;
“I’m from Arochukwu.”
“No, no, I’m from Isiala Ngwa.”
“Anyway, I’m ancestrally from Arochukwu where my ancestors migrated from but I’m Ngwa. In fact, I’m Aro Ngwa”
Yet again, the leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), sponsors of the Labour Party, LP, see him as “bad news” owing to his brazen efforts towards frustrating workers unionization during his days as Diamond Bank boss.
In fact, Otti is “Anti Labour”. He does not believe in the Labour Party’s Labour/socialist ideology and has come to ride on the Obidient crest of Obi’s credibility to power, after destroying his own credibility.
Finally, we wish to remind Ndi Abia and indeed that the Obidient movement is beyond Labour Party and cuts across party lines. Nigerians are not rooting for Obi merely because he is running under LP. No, Nigerians from different political parties including the PDP APC, APGA, NNPP, YPP, ADC, etc and even those who are not members of any political party are investing their time and resources to elect him as President because of his competence, credibility and capacity.
Even, the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba stated recently on AIT that “NLC is not just supporting Peter Obi because he is the Labour Party candidate but because he met our criteria bases on his competence, credibility and capacity.
NLC is not supporting every Labour Party candidate. For instance, in Taraba, we are not supporting the LP candidate because he did not meet our criteria and in Kebbi, we are supporting the APC candidate,Dr Nasir Idris, the President, Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT)”.
All those trying to hide behind Obi without having his antecedents, you have failed “Ọrụ unu akuola”
High Chief Ndubuisi Obia
National Coordinator “