The National Chairman of Labour Party, Julius Abure, on Thursday in Abuja declared that he was back as National Chairman, and that the LP was united and has no faction in its rank.
He made the declaration at a world press conference at the LP National Secretariat in Abuja, noting that the suspended Deputy National Chairman of the party, Apapa Lamidi, failed in its attempt to create a faction in LP.
According to Abure, the FCT High Court in Abuja ceases to have jurisdiction and that the earlier restraining order by the FCT High Court has been set aside by “our appeal at the Appeal Court ”.
Recall that Mr. Apapa and some of his cohorts had unsuccessfully attempted to take over control on the party, exploiting a high court order which had temporarily barred Abure from parading himself as LP chairman, due to allegation of infractions.
Meanwhile, read below the full text of Abure’s address:
It has become imperative for me to address this press conference to properly put the legal issues surrounding the leadership of the party on their proper perspectives for quite some time now about the leadership of the party. It is pertinent to state categorically and clearly that Labour Party has no faction. Labour Party has only one leadership and that leadership is the National Working Committee led by myself, Barrister Julius Abure.
Recall that some few members of the party burgled themselves into the office and appointed themselves, four of them, as officers of the party acting on the purported and upon a restraining order, an ex parte order granted by the FCT High Court.
A cursory look at the originating summons which is pending before the High Court of the FCT, Apapa and his cohorts asking that court upon granting their reliefs in the final judgement to direct the NEC to appoint interim National officers for the party.
Out of desperation they are not patient enough to wait for the outcome of the final judgment but employed self-help and appoint themselves as National Officers of the Party.
However, our objection to the court jurisdiction was overruled by Justice J. Muazu of FCT High Court on the 12th of May. On the same day, we filled a Notice of Appeal. Then on Wednesday 17th May, the Appeal was entered at the Court of Appeal No. CA/ABJ/CV/559/2023. Also we have filled our Appellant Brief of Argument which has been served on the trail courts.
By necessary implication the FCT High Court in Maitama ceases to have jurisdiction over the matter. The matter is now on the course list of the Court of Appeal. So, what the High Court judge is expected to do is to adjourn the matter sine-die.
It is worthy of note that in 2021 in Suleiman V. APC reported in NWLR (2023) 5 NWLR 211-416 Supreme Court same Justice Muazu wrongly assumed jurisdiction. His decision jettison by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme. This report was communicated but surprisingly he went ahead to assume jurisdiction.
However, having appealed and file a motion for stay which has been served on the judge, I and my colleagues have now fully assumed our constitutional responsibilities as National Officers of the Party.