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Page last updated at 16:31 GMT, Monday, 10 May 2010 17:31 UK

Nigeria's PDP leader Ogbulafor denies fraud charges

Vincent Ogbulafor
Vincent Ogbulafor denies the charges

The chairman of Nigeria's governing People's Democratic Party (PDP) Vincent Ogbulafor has appeared in court on corruption charges.

Mr Ogbulafor is accused of fraudulently awarding $1.5m (£1m) in federal funds when he was a government minister under ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.

He denies the charges and was granted bail by the court.

Mr Ogbulafor's problems are seen as part of the PDP leadership struggle prior to the 2011 presidential polls.

Mr Ogbulafor might have to resign if found guilty, the BBC's correspondent in Abuja says.

The trial will be seen as a major embarrassment for the PDP, our correspondent says.

Last week President Umaru Yar'Adua died and Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in as the country's new president.

The PDP has a system of rotating its candidate for president between people from the north and the south of the country.

President Jonathan is a southerner and the PDP has said its candidate for the 2011 elections will be from the north.



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