A Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City, Edo State capital, has affirmed Julius Abure as the National Chairman of the Labour Party.
This was disclosed in a statement issued Monday evening by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Obiora Ifoh.
The case with No: CA/B/93/2023, which was filed by Mr. Lucky Shaibu against Abure and five others, was dismissed after a unanimous decision by Justice Abadua, Fatima Akinbami and Sybil O. Nwaka-Gbagi.
The plaintiff, Shauibu who was a member of the Labour Party Executive in Ward 3 in Esan North East Local Government Area of Edo State, had allegedly suspended the chairman of the Labour Party.
However, in his lead judgment, Justice Abadua affirmed the decision of the High Court of Edo State and held that one man cannot suspend the national chairman of LP in line with Articles 13 and 17 of the Constitution of the Party and the extant Electoral Act of 2022.
In a swift reaction to the judgment, an excited Abure eulogised the judgment and team of justices who he said refused to close their eyes to the justice of the case.
He said, “I thank the Obidient movement who tarry with me and Mr Peter Obi while the impostor Mr Lamidi Apapa and his adherents who tried to trade off the mandate freely given to the Labour Party with billions of Naira expended by his paymasters in the opposition parties”.
Also, Abure’s lead counsel, Prest Aigbokhan applauded the judgment describing it as a sound and courageous decision.
“It is a landmark judgment that will stand the test of time. Anybody still associating with impostors parading themselves as factional leaders of the party does so at their own peril. Political parties must remain watchdog of national conscience,” he stated.
Hours after the news of the appeal court judgment went viral, the Lamidi Apapa faction of the party kicked against the report, saying the Benin court only ruled on his suspension
The statement signed by the spokesman of the LP faction, Abayomi Arabambi, insisted that the Abuja High Court Restraining order that recognised Apapa as acting national chairman remains in force.
Arabambi said, “Our party attention was drawn to misleading information that has been peddled around by some criminal elements loyal to the police-indicted former National Chairman of Labour Party Mr Julius Abure. Labour Party wishes to state categorically that our complaint in the appeal filed before the court of appeal bothered on his suspension as a member in Article 19(2)A of our party constitution which the three justices of the court of appeal did not take cognisance of and refused to make findings on.
“We are aware of the capacity of Peter Obi and Abure Julius to tamper with court proceedings and documents as evidence in the forgery perpetrated in Abuja FCT high court where the signature and seal of judges were forged by Abure Julius and which he boasted yesterday in Lagos with Peter Obi that nobody in Nigeria can probe or arraigned him in court and three others indicted by the police.
“Surprisingly, the same Abure has a pending appeal in the Supreme Court against this same set of justice which has been filed and served on us to arrest today’s judgment. But since they know it may not fly in the face of the law, Abure resorted to his trademark by engaging the services of unscrupulous elements in the Edo state high court to tamper with the records transmitted. What we don’t know is if Abure has now become the Chief Judge of Edo state to be able to commit any crime and get away with it
“The said missing document is in the transmitted copy with our lawyer and duly paid for, but unfortunately this singular criminal act that aided Julius Abure today at the court of appeal was the reason the three justices base their judgment on the suspension of Julius Abure.”