The Lamidi Apapa-led faction of the Labour Party (LP) has blamed the embattled National Chairman of the party, Barr. Julius Abure for the Federal High Court, Kano judgement that sacked the Abia State Governor-elect, Alex Otti and all the candidates of the Labour Party in Abia and Kano States in the just concluded elections.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Abayomi Arabambi, who disclosed this in a statement he made available to newsmen in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, revealed that Abure did not submit names of the party’s registered members in Kano and Abia States to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), at the appropriate time.
” There is a claim that the opposition parties challenging the elections have already gotten a written confirmation from INEC in the pursuit of their case, which will make it difficult for Labour to escape sack, even if it gets to the Apex Court”, hinted a source
Arabambi noted that the failure of the party to submit its membership register to the INEC within 30 days before their primaries render the process invalid.
He said, “The truth is that Abure and his gang held onto these names and didn’t submit them to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in accordance with Section 72 of the Electoral Act, 2022 (as amended)”.
“While the National Chairmen and Secretaries of other political parties were busy doing all that was necessary to meet the deadline for the submission of names of registered members, Abure and company were busy shopping for candidates to swindle and smuggle their names into the party’s register in exchange for those who won their primaries in some parts of the country”.
“Today, we have been vindicated after a Federal High Court in Kano, presided over by Justice M. N. Yunusa nullified the candidature of the Abia State Governor-elect, Dr Alex Otti and all the candidates of the Labour Party in Abia and Kano States due to Labour Party’s failures to comply with Section 72 of the Electoral Act 2022 ( as Amended)”
Arabambi recalled that, “he has been lamenting in the past few months that Abure’s action was not in compliance with the provisions of the 2022 Electoral Act”.
“The failure of the Labour Party to submit its membership register to the INEC within 30 days before their primaries renders the process invalid”.
“If we failed to comply with the provisions of the electoral act, we cannot as well say that we had candidates going into the elections in the affected states”.
He therefore challenge Abure to “come out clean and explain to Nigerians and Labour Party faithful all over the world who he was working for as at the time in question. Why would any good thinking leader of a political party that had the strength of a hurricane, go to a war where he deliberately prepared a group for the defeat of his own army?”
“This is no time for politics, but a time to tell ourselves the truth. Who is Abure working for when he forged a Court’s documents and seal? Who was Abure working for when he refused to send the names of these candidates to INEC at the appropriate time?”
“The unsuspecting members of the Obidient family must know that the Court decision was a grand design of Abure to cash in on Labour Party fortunes for the sole benefit of himself and immediate families”.
“Today, we are happy to inform you that the FCT High Court has ordered the maintenance of the restraining order made by the Court on April 5th 2023, pending the Court judgement from the appeal”.
The implication of today’s FCT High Court judgement was that the leadership of Alhaji Lamidi Apapa and Alhaji Saleh Lawan remain as the leadership of the party.
Arabambi warned that all actions and decisions taken by Abure and his gangsters on behalf of the party including the Asaba NEC meeting and all primaries conducted in Imo Kogi and Bayelsa States are null and void and of no consequence.
He said the affected candidates who participated in the primaries of the affected states must learn from history, stressing that the Apapa-led faction of the party will use all legal means to fight deliberate disobedience to Court order