Africans for Obama” fundraiser probe coughs up over 630,000 dollarsSeptember 2nd, 2008 - 4:58 pm ICT by ANI
London, Sept.2 (ANI): Anti-corruption authorities have seized over 630,000 dollars raised during an “Africans for Obama” gala dinner held in Nigeria’’s commercial capital, Lagos. Hundreds of the city’’s high-society elite and business leaders paid up to 11,000 pounds for a table at the glitzy fundraiser, but police intervened when it became clear that US laws prohibit overseas donations.
The Telegraph quoted staff from Barack Obama’’s campaign team said the Democratic presidential hopeful was in no way connected with the “Africans for Obama” organisation and added that no money from the group would be accepted.
The organiser of the August 11 event, Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, chair of the Nigerian stock exchange, was questioned by corruption investigators but was cleared of any wrongdoing on Sunday because no Nigerian laws were broken.
She said in a statement that the money had never been intended as a direct donation to Obama’’s campaign, but was to “mobilise and sensitise Africans” about his policies.
Excitement is growing across the continent as the race heats up and chances increase that the son of an African man could soon be president of the United States.
Obama ”08 bumper stickers, t-shirts and lapel badges are appearing on the streets of cities across the continent, particularly in Kenya, Obama’’s father’’s homeland.
But news of the Lagos gala drew sharp criticism from Nigeria’’s press pundits, who pointed to the fact that the vast majority of the country’’s population lives in dire poverty on less than PS1 a day.
Officials from the country’’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission are now working out how to return the money to those who paid to join the dinner. (ANI)