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Appeal Court: Stop Misleading The Public, Labour Party Tells Apapa – Says Abure Irreplaceable, Achonu Recognized By INEC

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PRESS RELEASE

This is to clear the air on yet another attempt by some of our former members who rebelled against the party and who have gone ahead to shamelessly misinform members of the public on the huge progress being made to reposition Labour Party as one of the biggest political parties in Nigeria.

As you already know, the party surprised many Nigerians with the huge success it achieved during the last general election. The party became a house hold name, all to the envy of the older political parties. You also know how the ruling party, forced itself into power at the expense of the Labour Party and the entire Nigerians. We are still in the tribunal challenging both the process and outcome of the presidential election.

In order to ensure a subjugation of the Labour Party, the ruling party has deployed all manner of strategies to stifle the party, part of which was to sponsor insurrection amongst some suspended former members of the party, Lamidi Apapa and a few others. Their assignment was to ensure that no progress is achieved in the party.

The heavily funded dissidents have tried to mislead the courts and some section of the media to harass the party leadership but all have failed. Only recently, the Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City affirmed Julius Abure as the National Chairman of Labour Party (LP).

Only yesterday, the Court of Appeal Owerri, which sat in Abuja, while giving judgement in the case brought before it by one Basil Maduka, one of the two aspirants that were deceived by the Apapa camp to participate in their illegal primaries also ordered that the status quo remains with Senator Athan Achonu as the validly nominated candidate of Labour Party for 2023 Imo governorship election. It noted that Basil Maduka has no locus to seek redress in the court as he is not known by the Labour Party.

For emphasis, you may recall that Apapa group had hoodwinked and arranged governorship primaries for two members of the Labour Party, namely Chief Ukaegbu Ikechukwu and Sir Maduka, after which Ukaegbu won the contest. Maduka was piqued by the outcome of the fake primaries and had gone ahead to challenge the emergence of Ukaegbu. He sued both Ukaegbu and the “Labour Party”.

Neither the authentic Labour Party led by Barrister Julius Abure nor its candidate Senator Athan Achonu was put on notice and were not aware of the situation. The case was decided on behalf of Ukaegbu against Maduka. The matter has nothing to do with the leadership of the party or the candidacy of Senator Achonu, a product of a properly conducted primaries by Abure led NWC.

Apparently Chief Ukaegbu Ikechukwu mischievously misinterpreted the judgment of the said Federal High Court delivered on the 23th day of June, 2023 by His Lordship, Hon Justice BO Quadirin Suit No FHC/OW/CS/28/2023, wherein it categorically held that from the totality of all the considered argument and authorities “the plaintiff Sir Basil Maduka does not fall within the definition of an aspirant as it never participated in the process leading to the primary election nor took part in the primary election of the 1st Defendant LP.”

With this judgement, the pro-Apapa choice, Chief Ukaegbu had gone to town declaring himself as the Labour Party candidate for the Imo governorship election. For emphasis, the court never pronounced him as the candidate of the Labour Party. No court has given judgement de-recognsing Barrister Abure as the National Chairman of the Labour Party up till today.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party appealed the Bayelsa court ruling on the ground that it lacks the jurisdiction to entertain a suit filed by the Apapa camp without putting the leadership of the party which is known to law into notice. Senator Achonu who was also not a party to the suit filed by Sir Maduka but on hearing about the matter before the Federal High Court, sought to be joined as an interested party. However, the Court of Appeal re-emphasized the implication of lack of jurisdiction in a Motion for leave to appeal as an interested party and held that the Motion was filed out of time hence it lacked jurisdiction.

To our greatest surprise Chief Ukaegbu Ikechukwu and his cohorts flooded the social media with yet another propaganda and falsehood that Court of Appeal has declared him the candidate of Labour Party, in a matter he was neither the Plaintiff nor Appellant. He also falsely and mischievously interpreted the judgement that Abure was no longer the National Chairman of the Labour Party.

Yesterday’s judgement laid to rest all those mischief as it reaffirm the earlier judgment that Chief Basil Maduka is just a meddlesome interlopper. The Appeal Court in Edo has since ruled that Abure is the authentic chairman of the Labour Party and everything done under his leadership, including nominating candidates for elections, is legal. It thus means that whoever that is not satisfied with the ruling of the Appeal Court is permitted under the law to approach the Supreme Court to seek a review of the Appeal Court judgement.

We took time to explain this trajectory because these men are out to ensure that Labour Party suffers immeasurably and they will stop at nothing from achieving the mandate of their sponsors.

In conclusion, we state categorically that Senator Achonu remains the Labour Party’s governorship candidate in Imo state as no court has stated otherwise. That the Independent National Electoral Commission has since published his name as the party’s candidate.

That Chief Ukaegbu Ikechukwu Joseph is not the candidate of the Labour Party and that no court either Federal High Court or Court of Appeal ever declared him LP candidate. As well no court in Nigeria has accorded Apapa the status of the National Chairman of the Labour Party.

Senator Achonu has received very wide endorsement by Imolites who are tired of the high level of insecurity and maladministration in the state. Our national leader Peter Obi, Abia State Governor Alex Otti, the Labour Party National Chairman Julius Abure and other stakeholders and party members have also filed behind him. We await victory at the November 11 polls and no gang up by some desperate politicians can stop an idea whose time has come.

SIGN

Malam Umar Farouk
National Secretary
Labour Party

25-08-2023

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