• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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BusinessDay

Leadership crises hit Labour Party

INEC disowns LP’s national convention
Leadership crises erupted in the Labour Party ( LP) on Thursday, as some members of the National Working Committee of the Labour Party (LP) led by the Deputy National Chairman of the party (South) Lamidi Apapa, attempted to take over the party headquarters in Abuja.
The action led to a rival war between group loyal to Julius Abure, the incumbent National Chairman and those loyal to Apapa.
The Apapa led group said they were acting on court judgment restraining Julius Abure and three others from parading themselves as national officers of the party.
Lamidi said he is now the Acting National Chairman of the party while Saleh Lawan is the Acting National Secretary.
According to him, Abure and the three others must vacate the order of the Federal High Court retraining them before further action can be taken on the leadership of the party.
Court stops Labour Party’s National Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Organizing Secretary from parading as National Officers.
An Abuja High Court had issued an order on Wednesday restraining the National Chairman of the Labour Party, Julius Abure, National Secretary, AFarouk Ibrahim and two others from parading themselves as National Officers of the party.
Others stopped from also parading themselves as National Officers are the National Organizi Secretary, Clement Ojukwu and one other.
The order was said to have been issued by Justice Hamza Muazu restraining order while ruling in ex-parte application argued by James Onoja, SAN .
According to the group, “ the emergency NWC meeting also went further to reinstate Executive Council members from Ogun State, Rivers State, and Gombe State.
“During the meeting, Lamidi also reversed the suspension of Eragbe Anslem as the National Youth Leader and Yomi Arabambi as the National Publicity Secretary
The party’s National Secretary, Umar Farouk, had in an earlier statement on Thursday, said an Edo High Court had issued an interim injunction stopping the suspension of Abure as the National Chairman of the party
According to him, Justice Ahamioje ordered that both parties return to status quo ante, “when the case came up for hearing before his Lordship the Honourable Justice E.O. Ahamioje (Judge) sitting in High Court 4, Benin City on Wednesday the 5th day of April, 2023”
The Judge granted ” An order of interim injunction restraining the 3rd defendant/respondent from acting on, executing and/or implementing the purported notice of suspension issued by the 1st and 2nd defendants/respondents over the subject matter of this suit, pending the determination of the motion on notice.
“And for such order or further orders as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case.”
The claimants were represented by a team of lawyers led by G.C. Igbokwe (SAN), Ayewoh Odiase, S.O. Igberease Esq., M.O. Ofondu Esq., and Mayor lyoha Esq.
According to him” I have carefully considered the motion exparte, the supporting affidavit, the affidavit of urgency, the Exhibits annexed thereto and the written argument of learned senior counsel. After a calm consideration, I am of the view that the applicants have made out a case for the grant of the order sought. Accordingly, I hereby make an order of interim injunction restraining the 1st and 2nd defendants from submitting and/or transmitting the purported notice of suspension signed by ward 3 executive of the Labour Party to the 3rd defendant for deliberation and or approval in respect of the subject matter of this suit pending the determination of the motion on notice.
“I further decree an order of interim injunction restraining the 3rd defendant from acting on, executing and/or implementing the purported notice of suspension issued by the 1st and 2nd defendants over the subject matter of this suit pending the determination of the motion on notice.
“The enrolled order of this honourable court and the motion on notice shall be served on the defendants. Case is adjourned till 25/4/23 for the hearing of the motion on motion on notice.”
Also, Julius Abure, National Chairman, Labour Party, in a statement personally signed by him, in Abuja, on Thursday, had declared that the party Secretariat witnessed massive attacks and was broken into by thugs, backed by a detachment of the Nigerian Police, believed to be working for the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Abure stated that the Invaders who who were armed reportedly pulled down the fences, burglaries, doors and window to have access the Secretariat and in the process sacked workers and party members who were at the Secretariat.
“Though, I was out of town but information has it that the agenda of the Invaders was to inaugurate an illegitimate executive which has been chosen for them by their sponsors.
“This incident is coming days after a similar invasion in our Imo state Secretariat which up till now is still being occupied by the agents of the Imo state government.
“Only yesterday, our Presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi through the Presidential Campaign Council alerted Nigerians of plot to hound him out of the country over APC’s covert plot in collaboration with some security agents to frame him up allegedly on matters bothering on treason.
“Labour Party is only a political party which is contesting for power.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC having conducted election ranked us third, a position we have rejected and have approached the Tribunal to contest. That is our only offence.
“We therefore call on President Muhammadu Buhari to call his party, the APC to order and also rein then in from using unorthodox means to suffocate political structures in Nigeria.
“A court of competent jurisdiction only yesterday ordered that I, Julius Abure remains the National Chairman, and should not be restrained from performing my duties, it therefore baffles me why the Nigerian Police should allow itself to be used to perpetrate illegalities.
Abure while advising the Police, APC and their sponsors to play by the rules, warned that they “ will no longer tolerate the often intimidation and deployment of brute forces against the party and their personnel. We demand they put a stop to abuse of power and respect the rights and privileges of other political parties, particularly, the Labour Party to contest for power”.