Abure remains Labour Party chairman, says NLC
The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has insisted that the embattled Julius Abure is still the national chairman of the Labour Party (LP).
The Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday issued an order restraining Abure, the party’s Secretary, Farouk Ibrahim and two others from acting as the party’s national officials.
Other party officials affected by the order include the National Organising Secretary, Clement Ojukwu, and the Treasurer, Oluchi Opara.
The restraining order was given by Justice Hamza Muazu while ruling on an ex-parte application argued by James Onoja, who told the court how the restrained National officers reportedly forged several documents from the FCT High Court in order to carry out unlawful substitutions in the last general elections.
Justice Muazu then ordered that the four individuals cease acting as national officers of the LP forthwith.
The NLC on Thursday, however, passed a vote of confidence on the embattled national chairman of the LP, declaring that Abure is still the chairman of the party.
“We are alarmed by the decision of Justice Hamza Muazu of the High Court in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja via exparte to suspend from office the National Chairman, the National Secretary, National Treasurer and the Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party, Messrs Julius Abure, Alhaji Farouk Ibrahim, Clement Ojukwu and Opara respectively on unfounded/unproven and highly speculative and malicious allegations of corruption, perjury and forgery by elements whose interest in the party could best be described as doubtful or dubious.
“The court order according to Justice Hamza Muazu is to subsist ‘pending the hearing and determination of a motion on notice for interlocutory injunction
“The ruling was sequel to a motion ex parte filed along the substantive suit by eight so-called aggrieved members of the party including the Chairman of the party in Abure’s ward.
“We view the decapitation of the leadership of the party with great suspicion which cannot be far from the intent to weaken the party from within or distract it from its fight to reclaim its victories at the polls.
“In light of this, we urge the courts to exercise utmost caution in entertaining frivolous suits and spurious prayers from mercenary party members as they are capable of compromising the integrity of the courts.
“We similarly join the league of those who canvass against the casual use of exparte in light of the grievances of the injuries they quite often inflict.
“We also note that this extant court order does not only violate the principle of presumption of innocence, a cardinal pillar of our judicial system, it is an affront to justice itself. We find it curious that while ex-convicts continue to occupy ample space in the public service or space without let or hindrance, those yet to be found guilty are already being harangued or hounded are being debarred from holding office.
“Finally, the continued relevance of our courts cannot be divorced from the quality of their decisions or rulings. Accordingly, our courts are advised to refrain from taking decisions which portray them as having descended into the arena, or worse still, make them pocketable.
“On our part, the grounds for suspending the quartet, either in the courtroom or outside it, are not there even as mischievous forces orchestrate evil. The quartet, therefore, remain executives of the party. In light of the foregoing, we invite the honorable court to review its decision forthwith.
“On the next adjourned date, we are going to be in court in our numbers to listen to the Judge,” the NLC said in a statement signed by its president, Comrade Joe Ajaero.”
Meanwhile, a State High Court sitting in Benin City, Edo State, on Wednesday stopped the LP and all its members from any suspension of its national officers until the determination of motion on notice.
LP lawyer, G. C. Igbokwe (SAN), reportedly confirmed that he got a High Court order that the status quo is maintained at the party on the national level.
Igbokwe said that no action which may result in the suspension of any of the national officers of the party will henceforth be taken.