Nigerian anti-corruption body seizes Obama fundraiser cash

September 2nd, 2008 - 1:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Nairobi, Sep 2 (DPA) Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has seized over half a million dollars raised to support US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.Ndidi Okereke-Onyuike, the director-general of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and head of the Africa for Obama campaign, raised 74.1 million Naira ($630,000) at a fundraising dinner in early August.

Guests paid up to $20,000 for a table at the event, while individual tickets went for around $3,000.

However, the Obama campaign disassociated itself from the fundraiser.

The EFFC said that while Okereke-Onyuike had broken no known law, the money would be returned to the donors.

“The EFCC… will soon work out modalities on how to share the money among those who paid to participate in the event,” the body said in a statement.

Okereke-Onyuike has also been warned to “steer clear of such activities in the future.”

Presidential candidates are not allowed to receive campaign donations from abroad.

However, Okereke-Onyuike said there had been a misunderstanding regarding how the money would be spent.

She said the money was aimed at persuading Nigerians in the US to vote for Obama.

“We never said we were going to donate money for the campaign,” she told the BBC.

“There is not one Nigerian who doesn’t have a relative or friend in America,” she continued.

“Our aim was to encourage those people to tell their family who have the right to vote in America to vote for Obama.”

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