Amid the trouble and leadership tussle to take control of the heart of Nigeria’s Labour Party, the party has insisted that its current National Chairman, Barrister Julius Abure, “remains the National Chairman of the Party pending the final determination of the matter.”
An official statement signed by Obiora Ifoh, the Acting National Publicity Secretary, was released on Friday following a recent development at the Federal Capital Territory State High Court where the presiding judge, Justice Hamza Muazu, refused to decline jurisdiction on the matter brought by a group loyal to the suspended Deputy National Chairman of the party, Lamidi Apapa, against the Labour Party and Julius Abure.
Justice Muazu had insisted that he would go ahead to hear and entertain the substantive matter brought to it by Apapa and his executives.
He adjourned the hearing to Friday, May 19, for further deliberation.
In response to the action by the FCT State High Court, the party said that it would appeal the ruling. It said, “We are appealing the ruling immediately because we know we will not get justice from the court.”
The party added that Apapa’s group, known for spreading misleading information, has gone to the public with the intent of putting the party in a bad light.
“Today’s sitting is not for judgement, as Apapa’s group is peddling in their usual way of misinforming Nigerians, but purely for the purpose of determining the jurisdiction of the court.
“However, we have appealed the ruling immediately because we know we will not get justice from the court,” it said.
Speaking to a crowd of supporters after the ruling, Julius Abure, the embattled chairman, faulted the jurisdiction of the court to entertain such a matter. He promised that he was going to appeal the court’s ruling and move it to the Court of Appeal.
Abure made reference to the Sulieman v. APC case in the same court in the FCT in 2023, saying that he and the Labour Party believe that they will get justice in the Court of Appeal. He added that the ruling of the FCT State High Court can’t stand, and only the Court of Appeal can correct this injustice.
He said that the process to challenge the court’s ruling will start in earnest with the papers filled out on Friday, and by Monday the appeal will commence.
He urged all party faithful to remain calm as the party seeks to address this injustice.
Meanwhile, Apapa, after the ruling, urged lawyers representing the Labour Party and Peter Obi at the Presidential Election Tribunal to brief him and his executives within 48 hours about developments in their case challenging the victory of the president-elect.
“I want to invite all the lawyers that are in charge of representing the Labour Party that they should come for briefing. They should come and give me update on what is happening in that tribunal within the next 48 hours because right now I am the person in the driver’s seat, and I am fully in charge,” he said while speaking to pressmen.