Confusion as LP Headquarters witnesses ‘siege’, NWC ‘replaces’ Abure as chairman
National Headquarters of Labour Party under attack, as a detachment of Nigeria Police Force and thugs believed to be working for All Progressives Congress (APC) invaded, the chairman, Julius Abure, alleged yesterday.
He claimed in a statement that fences, burglaries, doors and windows to the secretariat were vandalised, adding that workers and stalwarts were chased away.
Abure, who said he was out of town, explained that information reaching him indicated that the invaders were there to inaugurate an “illegitimate executive, which has been chosen for them by their sponsors.”
He continued: “This incident is coming days after a similar invasion at Imo State secretariat, which up till now, is still being occupied by agents of government.
“Only yesterday, our presidential candidate, Peter Obi, through the Presidential Campaign Council, alerted Nigerians to plot to hound him out of the country over APC’s covert plot, in collaboration with some security agents, to frame him up allegedly on matters bordering on treason.
“LP is only a political party, which is contesting for power. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), having conducted an election, ranked us third, a position we have rejected and have approached the tribunal to contest. That is our only offence.
“We, therefore, call on President Muhammadu Buhari to call his party, the APC, to order and also rein then in from using unorthodox means to suffocate political structures in Nigeria.
“A court of competent jurisdiction only, yesterday, ordered that I, Julius Abure, remains the National Chairman, and should not be restrained from performing my duties. It, therefore, baffles me why the Nigerian police should allow itself to be used to perpetrate illegalities.
“We advise the police, APC and their sponsors to play by the rules. We will no longer tolerate the often intimidation and deployment of brute forces against the party and their personnel. We demand they put a stop to abuse of power and respect the rights and privileges of other political parties, particularly, LP, to contest for power.”
BESIDES, seven members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party have announced Abure’s replacement to be National Vice-Chairman (South), Lamidi Bashir Apapa, in acting capacity.
Speaking after an emergency meeting in Abuja, Apapa said the NWC members acted on the ruling of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, which restrained Abure from parading himself as national chairman.
Armed security men were present in strategic locations, possibly, to check breakdown of law and order. Apapa said the NWC, also reviewed suspension, of party members and executives.
The other three restrained officials were also replaced by Saleh Lawal as acting national secretary, Rowland Daramola (acting treasurer) and Prince Reuben Favour (acting organising secretary).
Also, the national leadership described as a welcome development the order of the Edo State High Court restraining executives of Ward 3, Arue Uromi, Edo State from suspending Abure as the national chairman.
In the case filed before Justice E.O Ahamioje, with case NO. HCU/21/2023, Abure, on behalf of other claimants, including Chief Friday Ibadin, Patrick Onogbeni and Barr Dom Orukpe Okojie, filed the motion ex parte against the defendants, including Thompson Ehiguese, who Ward 3 Chairman, Lucky Shaibu and LP.
The case came up for hearing before Justice E.O. Ahamioje, sitting in High Court 4, Benin City on Wednesday, April 5. The claimants were represented by a team of lawyers led by G.C. Igbokwe (SAN), Dr. P.E. Ayewoh Odiase, S.O. Igberease, M.O. Ofondu and Mayor lyoha.