Some members of the National Working Committee of the Labour Party (LP) led by the Deputy National Chairman of the party (South) Lamidi Apapa have taken over the affairs of the party following a court judgment restraining Julius Abure and three others from parading themselves as national officers of the party.
The development took place in Abuja on Thursday during an emergency meeting of the LP National Working Committee (NWC).
Lamidi said he is now the Acting National Chairman of the party while Saleh Lawan is the Acting National Secretary.
According to him, Abure and the three others must vacate the order of the Federal High Court retraining them before further action can be taken on the leadership of the party.
The emergency NWC meeting also reinstated Executive Council members from Ogun State, Rivers State, and Gombe State.
During the meeting, Lamidi also reversed the suspension of Eragbe Anslem as the National Youth Leader and Yomi Arabambi as the National Publicity Secretary.
I’m Still Chairman
Meanwhile, Abure has dismissed the move, tagging it as “illegitimate” and a ploy by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to destabilise the party.
“A court of competent jurisdiction only yesterday ordered that I, Julius Abure remain 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,” he said in Thursday statement.
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “call his party, the APC to order and also rein them in from using unorthodox means to suffocate political structures in Nigeria”.
“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 its personnel,” he added.
“We demand they put a stop to the abuse of power and respect the rights and privileges of other political parties, particularly, the Labour Party to contest for power.”
NLC Backs Abure
In a similar faction, the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) maintained that Abure remains the LP national Chairman.
The NLC chairman Joe Ajaero in a statement Thursday said, “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 exparte 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.”