The chairman of Nigeria’s governing party, Vincent Ogbulafor, has been charged with fraud.

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

He denies the charges but if convicted, Mr Ogbulafor would have to resign.

Correspondents say the case is being seen against the background of a struggle for control of the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party.

It comes the day before an executive meeting of the PDP, which is considering its options for a candidate for the presidential election in 2011.

President Umaru Yar’Adua is seen as unlikely to stand as he is sick and has not been seen in public since November 2009.

Acting President Goodluck Jonathan is a southerner and the PDP has said its candidate will be from the north.

Source: BBC