The reports that Peter Obi of the Labour Party allegedly funded the funeral of the late father of Arise TV journalist, Rufai Oseni have continued to generate controversy.
Reno Omokri, a social critic, had asked the former Anambra Governor to come clean on whether or not he gave money to Oseni during the latter’s father’s funeral.
Reno alleged that such support influenced the journalist into making political comments and analyses in favour of Obi.
Omokri, in one of his tweets, asked Peter Obi to publicly deny ever inducing Mr Oseni financially, insisting Obi must answer if he did sponsor Oseni’s father’s funeral or not.
Omokri said, “I asked a question that Mr. Peter Obi has NOT answered and has tried to use semantics to dodge.
“My question is this: Did Peter Obi 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, and has that influenced Mr. Oseni’s open bias in favour of Peter Obi, whereby Mr. Oseni used the Arise TV 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.”
But in his response to Omokri’s questions, Peter Obi dismissed the allegations, saying, “I have recently been mentioned to have bribed Rufai Oseni by financially sponsoring the burial of his father.
“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.”
Insisting, however, Omokri said the presidential candidate did not answer his questions, claiming Obi, in his response, only tried to use sophistry to dodge answering the real question.
He said, “Look, I have a Masters in Law and I am not moved by empty sophistry. I asked a question that Mr. Peter Obi had NOT answered and tried to use semantics to dodge.
“My question is this: Did Peter Obi 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, and has that influenced Mr. Oseni’s open bias in favour of Peter Obi, whereby Mr. Oseni used 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? Yes or no.”
He also asked, “Mr. Peter Obi, you did not respond to that question. You said you did not “bribe” Mr Rufai Oseni, however, that is not what I asked. Did you or did you not give money, either directly or indirectly, to Mr Rufai Oseni? Yes or no? Simple,” asked Omokri.
Omokri, also accused Arise TV’s Rufai Oseni of threatening to kill him in a recorded audio and also lying to Nigerians that he obtained a subpoena from Chicago State University (CSU) denying Tinubu’s studentship at the institution.
In a social media challenge, he tagged #PublishTheSubpoena, he called on the journalist to publish the said subpoena on Tinubu.
Omokri also said that Tinubu graduated from the University just like documents from the institution, which he has also published on his handle, confirmed.
“This is now the fifth day of my challenge to Rufai Oseni to publish the subpoena upon which he said that Chicago State University denied Bola Tinubu’s academic credentials on Tuesday, November 22, 2022.
“Rufai Oseni also challenged me to publish the document I was given by @ChicagoState University, which I did.
“I also published their phone number (+1 (773) 995-2517) and their email address (CSU-Registrar@csu.edu), urging anyone who doubted the genuineness of the document and the veracity of what it contains to contact Chicago State University directly.
“Now, I call on all Nigerians who want to know the truth about whether or not President Bola Tinubu attended Chicago State University to call on Rufai Oseni to #PublishTheSubpoena.”
Since the matter became public knowledge, there have been online reactions to the development, further fueling the controversy.
The issue has now become a serious matter between supporters of Peter Obi, also known as the Obidients and Reno’s fans.