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Labour Party: Abure Triumphs Over Lamidi Apapa at Appeal Court



Labour Party: Abure Triumphs Over Lamidi Apapa at Appeal Court

Members of a Faction of the Labour Party, Led by Julius Abure, Celebrate Victory Following Court of Appeal Judgment Over Rival Faction Led by Lamidi Apapa on Wednesday

Abure-led National Working Committee (NWC) and his former deputy, Alhaji Lamidi Apapa-led faction had been locked in legal battles over the national chairmanship position of the party.

Justice Hamza Muazu had while delivering a ruling on an ex parte application on April 5, 2023, restrained Abure, Farouk Ibrahim, Clement Ojukwu, and Oluchi Opara from acting as national officers of the LP.

Also, Muazu on May 12, 2023, dismissed the preliminary objection raised by Abure challenging his removal as chairman of the LP.

The suit was filed by Martins Esikpali John, Lucky Shaibu, Isah Zekeri, Omogbai Frank, Abokhaiu Aliu, Ayohkaire Lateef, John Elomah, and Abayomi Arabambi accusing Abure and others of forging several documents of the FCT high court to carry out unlawful substitutions in the last elections.

The Court dismissed the arguments of the defendants through their lawyer, Alex Ejesieme, SAN that an allegation of forgery against his clients cannot be brought before the court by way of an originating summon.

Ejesieme alleged that the plaintiffs are not members of the LP and therefore, lack the locus standi to institute the suit.

He added that the matter borders on the internal issues of the party which the court cannot interfere in.

Justice Muazu held that the court has the jurisdiction to hear the matter despite being an internal affair of the party.

He added that there would have been no need to interfere, had the party been at peace.

However, Abure and the other defendants approached the appeal court for redress.

Ruling on other appeal on Wednesday, the Court of Appeal set aside of judgment of an FCT High Court, thus restoring Abuja as the chairman of Labour Party and the two others as members of the NWC of the party.

Delivering the lead judgment, Justice Hamma Barka held that the high court was wrong to have assumed jurisdiction on the matter.

He also held that the lower court was wrong to interfere in the internal affairs of the political party.

The whole issue is premised on pre-election matters. The case of leadership tussle do not come under the jurisdiction of the court. It is an internal affair of the party. The case before the lower court is not justiciable. ”

Barka added that ward executives lacked the power to discipline or remove national executive members elected during a party’s convention.

He said, “In conclusion, the lower court was wrong to assume jurisdiction on the matter and striking out the preliminary objection raised by the appellants.

” The appeal is allowed and an order to set aside the judgement of the lower court is hereby made. N1m is awarded as cost against the respondents” he held.

Reacting to the judgment, the Lagos State chapter of the Labour Party (LP) said the Appeal Court’s affirmation of Mr Julius Abure as the National Chairman of the party is a good omen for its survival and fortune.

The Secretary of the party in Lagos State, Mr Sam Okpala, stated this in an interview.

According to Okpala, the ruling should put to rest all the divisions and infighting within the party.

“This is a vindication of the truth. We, in Labour Party, Lagos State, we are happy with the development.

“When a lie is unchallenged for a long time, it going to become or look like the truth; and no matter how far lies travel, truth must catch up and overtake it.

That is just what has happened with the court of appeal’s ruling in favour of Abure.

“This portent good omen for the party to move forward together and swing another surprise in elections,” the secretary said.

According to him, some party leaders and their followers who are looking for how to decimate the party must halt actions for the sake of the party.

“There is no leadership crisis again in the party.

“The party remains one and together we are going to be marching forward,” Okpala added.