Strike stalls trial of Nigeria ruling party Chairman Ogbulafor

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ABUJA  – An indefinite strike over pay launched by court workers stalled the start Tuesday of a corruption trial for the chairman of the Nigeria’s ruling party, officials said.

The Abuja High Court, where corruption charges were expected to be formally laid against Vincent Ogbulafor, was locked by workers who were protesting against poor pay, said an photographer at the scene.

No new date has been fixed for the start of the court case.

Ogbulafor, who travelled to the court on Tuesday, is accused of fraudulently awarding contracts worth 223 million naira (1.5 million dollars) when he was minister of special duties in 2001 under former president Olusegun Obasanjo.

Judge Ishaq Bello had granted an order sought by a corruption watchdog to arraign Ogbulafor, national chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), for “criminal charges” this week, along with four co-accused.

Ogbulafor has recently become embroiled in a power struggle within the PDP, amid calls for the removal of the party’s executive ahead of next year’s presidential elections.

The party is yet to pick a candidate for the polls.

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Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

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