From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
The notice of suspension issued by some party members at the ward level against the embattled National Chairman of the Labour Party (LP), Julius Abure, was dismissed by a State High Court sitting in Edo on Friday.
According to a statement, issued on Friday, by the Acting National Publicity Secretary of the party, Obiora Ifoh, the judge, Justice Emmanuel Aihamoje, on Friday, threw out the case for lacking merit.
He also confirmed that the action was filed by Abure and the executives of LP Ward 3 in Esan North East of Edo State.
Aihamoje ruled that the party ward executive in Uromi in ward 3 lacked the authority under the LP Constitution, specifically Act 13 & 17 and the Electoral Act 2022, as amended, to depose the party’s national chairman.
The judge in Suit No: HUC/21/2023 therefore went ahead to impose perpetual injunction against Lamidi Apapa and his faction from removing or suspending Abure as the national chairman until a new national convention of the party is convened.
Aihamoje further stated that the purported wards 3 executive who suspended the national chairman of the party acted outside the powers vested on it by the Labour Party Constitution.
Reacting to the ruling, LP Ward 3 Chairman, Thompson Ehiguese, told journalists at the court premises that the judgement has put an end to impostors who are masquerading as members of the labour party in the ward.
He said, “These charlatans claiming to be members of our party are from Edo North and members of APC. I want to use this medium to congratulate the Labour Party and the Obidient Movement that stood firmly with Comrade Julius Abure while the sponsored crisis in our great party lasted.
“The judgement is explicitly clear that Barrister Julius Abure remains the national Chairman until the party convention holds next year. Nothing can change our collective resolve to reclaim Nigerian masses’ mandate freely given to Mr Peter Obi and the party in the last presidential election.
On his part, Edo State Labour Party Chairman, Kelly Ogbaloi, affirmed that Labour party has been vindicated, adding that the court has confirmed Apapa and his faction are ‘tragic power seekers.’
“Apapa, who before then was a deputy national chairman and a custodian of the constitution of the party, knew that the act of those who came to Abuja to announce the suspension of the national chairman was not doing so legally, since the action was an aberration to the provisions of the party’s constitution, instead, he ran to the court, seeking ex-parte motion to restrain the national chairman.
“Today they have been basically told that the charade can no longer be entertained by the court”, he said.