The Barrister Julius Abure national leadership of the opposition Labour Party, LP, Wednesday said it has uncovered two governors who are allegedly behind the crisis rocking the party.
The unnamed governors said to come from south west and south east respectively are reportedly sponsoring the Lamidi Apapa-led faction to destroy the party.
It also dismissed the purported national executive council meeting of the party at the instance of Lamidi Apapa set to hold in Bauchi as fake and unlawful.
The party leadership under Abure also said the six suspended members of the party including but not limited to Apapa have no constitutional power to hold the LP NEC meeting.
AfriPost, however, recalls that the LP has an intra-judicial leadership case pending in court by ex-parte orders involving Lamidi Apapa and Barrister Julius Abure as complainant and respondent inter-changeably in Edo state and Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High courts.
The ex-parte orders are separately restrictive against each claimant to the national chairmanship of the LP. Yet, the two courts are equal with coordinate jurisdiction.
National spokesman of the party under the Abure leadership, Obiora Ifoh in a press conference held in Abuja told newsmen that the controversial factional meeting was called ostensibly to suspend the elected members of the party’s NWC after their unsuccessful attempts to woo them.
He added, “In their desperation to satisfy their paymasters who we have already established to be two governors; one from South West and another from South East,
“while also using a top member of the APC National Working Committee who go in between them, this transactional arrangement will see them recruiting their usual customers; touts, market women, street hawkers.and people who are not members of the party”.
In order to portray elements of credibility, Ifoh said the Apapa-led faction even extended invitations to the elected members of the national assembly, leader and presidential candidate of the party, Mr. Peter Obi, the Abia state Governor-elect, Alex Otti, party trustees including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) amongst others.
Ifoh also maintained that Abure’s leadership remains the centre of the party and those things Apapa with his loyalists and supporters are doing are just the handiwork of paid agents who are trying to create confusion.
Further, the party was particularly surprised that barely two weeks after the party held a successful NEC meeting in Asaba, Apapa came up the Bauchi purported NEC meeting premised to create a bad public image against the party.
For the cases in court, Ifoh said, “On the 5th of April, 2023, an Edo State High Court restrained the Labour Party Executive of Ward 3, Arue Uromi, Edo state from suspending Barrister Julius Abure as the National Chairman of Labour Party.
“In the case filed before His Lordship, Justice E.O Ahamioje, with case NO. HCU/21/2023, Julius Abure on behalf of other claimants filed the Motion ex-parte against the defendants including Thompson Ehiguese who is the Ward 3 Chairman, Lucky Shaibu and Labour Party.
“The enrolment orders include but not limited to an order of interim injunction restraining the party or officers of the party from suspending or expelling Abure, pending the determination of the motion on notice. On this, Justice Ahamioje after consideration of the claims granted interim injunction restraining the defendants from suspending Abure.
“Same day, an Abuja High Court presided over by Justice Muazu also issued an ex-parte order restraining Abure and three others from parading themselves as national officers of the party.
“Armed with the order, Apapa and his dissident group, like uncaged lions, without the approval of the NEC of the party, procured the services of thugs, Police and DSS and marched to the national headquarters of the party, massively attacked the property, pulled down the fences, burglaries, doors and window to have access to our Secretariat and in the process sacked workers and party members who were at the Secretariat.
“They took away files, computers, financial document amongst others including going as low as packing bottles of wines and other gift items found in the offices. In fact, they striped the office bare.
Part of the party’s statement reads, “Article 13:2A of our party constitution is clear on the composition of the Labour Party NEC. They include our state Chairmen and Secretaries, and all other officers as have been mentioned above. The constitution did not state that expelled and suspended officers of the party shall convene a NEC of the party.
But in reaction, Abayomi Arabambi, the suspended national spokesman of the party said the scheduled Bauchi NEC meeting was meant to right the wrongs and illegality of the contempt of court orders perpetrated by Julius Abure whom the FCT High Court restrained from parading himself as National Officers of the Labour Party.”