The squabbles in both the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Labour Party in the aftermath of the 2023 general election shows no sign of abating.
The Enugu Chapter of the APC yesterday suspended a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, a former governor of the state, Sullivan Chime, and minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama…… CONTINUE READING
Also suspended were former speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly, Eugene Odoh; the director-general of Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu, Ozor Joe, Mmamel, Maduka Arum, and Flavour Eze
The party announced the suspension of the APC stalwarts in a resolution of the state Executive Committee held at its zonal headquarters in Enugu yesterday.
The resolution was signed by Robert Ngwu, state secretary of the party, who disclosed that after the 2023 general Election, the party commenced a post-election review to document the activities of 2023 General Elections, and identified some individuals who worked against it, noting that anti-party is a mortal sin against any political party.
He stated that the State Executive Committee of APC believed it was imperative to tackle the matter head-on, hence the suspension of the above-mentioned parry chieftains.
The state secretary of the party said with that in mind, the party reviewed various petitions and reports from the Fact-Finding Committee, and the disciplinary committee against some individuals.
The resolution disclosed that the suspended party chieftains, including Nnamani, were involved in anti-party activities, with audio, text, and video evidence establishing that Nnamani campaigned openly against the governorship and other candidates of APC on November 12, 2022.
It disclosed that the extended State Executive committee (SEC), including local government chairmen and secretaries of the party ratified the recommendation of the disciplinary committee, and unanimously moved for the immediate suspension of Nnamani.
Ngwu said allegations levelled against Chime, included actions and statements that were in direct contravention of the party’s constitution,
On Onyeama and Eze, Ngwu said allegations were levelled against them including actions and statements that were in direct contravention of the party’s constitution.
The state secretary of APC said after conducting a thorough investigation into the allegations of anti-party activities levelled Okechukwu the extended State Executive Committee (SEC), including local government chairmen and LGA secretaries of the party, had ratified the recommendation of the disciplinary committee, and hereby moved for his immediate expulsion.
Meanwhile, the director-general of Voice of Nigeria has reacted to his suspension, saying the story of his kinsman, Ugo Agbala, is the story of a failed chairman quarreling with himself.
Okechukwu said Agbala came from PDP akin to a political bandit and hijacked their great party with the assistance of Hope Uzodinma, the governor of Imo State.
The VON DG alleged that to fill his empty pocket Agbala drove all the stakeholders away and boasted that he would quadruple the 56,000 votes the party scored in 2019 presidential election, only to record an abysmally low 4,722 votes in the state.
“Instead of apologising I cited his CV (curriculum vitae) flying around at the president-elect house and APC HQ. This is why he is telling childish lies against some of us foundation members of APC, who sold the only plot of land in Enugu during my gubernatorial election in 2011.
“Ironically then Agbala was in the comfort zone of PDP, while we were constructing APC structure,” he stated.
LP Faction Names Apapa Acting National Chairman Amid Tight Security
Also yesterday, seven members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Labour Party, announced a replacement of the suspended chairman of the party, Julius Abure, with the national vice-chairman (South), Lamidi Bashir Apapa, as the acting chairman of the party.
LEADERSHIP Friday reports that dozens of armed policemen in two patrol vans were yesterday drafted to man the entry and exit points of Labour Party national secretariat Abuja.
LEADERSHIP a reports that while the court in Benin restrained Abure and others from being removed pending the determination of the case, the Abuja court stopped them from parading themselves as national officers of the party.
Addressing newsmen after an emergency meeting held at the party’s secretariat in Abuja yesterday, Apapa said the NWC members acted on the judgement of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court which restrained Abure from parading himself as the national chairman of the party.
Recall that apart from Abure, the court also restrained three other officials of the party over alleged forgery.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Hamza Muazu, also ordered that the originating processes of the court be served on the restrained officials – Abure, the National Secretary, Umar Farouk Ibrahim; the national treasurer, Oluchi Opara; and the national organising secretary, Clement Ojukwu.
The judge held that the ex-parte application for an interim injunction restraining the four officials by aggrieved members of the LP before the court had merit and granted the same.
Speaking further, Apapa revealed further that NWC also reviewed the suspension of party members and exco that have earlier been suspended by the party leadership.
The three other officials restrained were also replaced by Alhaji Saleh Lawal- acting national secretary, Rawland Daramola- acting treasurer, and Prince Reuben Favour – acting organising secretary.
“The NWC equally reviewed that recently there are some cases of suspensions that were badly handled. And this National Working Committee meeting has reviewed them, and the suspension all over are hereby reviewed and the officers are reinstated.
“With effect from now, the so-called officers, who the court had barred should not parade themselves as officers of the party until cases against them are treated or handled by the party,” Apapa stated.
He equally denied the allegation that the party has been invaded by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), saying the current leadership believes extensively in the presidential candidate of the party, Peter Obi.
I Am Still In Charge, Abure Insists
Earlier, Abure, however, had in a statemenraised an alarm, accusing the APC of using thugs and a detachment of the Nigerian Police Force to invade the party’s headquarters in Abuja.
Abure stated that the armed invaders pulled down the fences, burglaries, doors, and windows to have access to the Secretariat and in the process sacked workers and party members who were at the secretariat.
“Though, I was out of town but information has it that the agenda of the Invaders was to inaugurate an illegitimate executive which had been chosen for them by their sponsors. This incident is coming days after a similar invasion in our Imo State Secretariat which up until now is still being occupied by the agents of the Imo State government.
“Only yesterday, our presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, through the Presidential Campaign Council alerted Nigerians of a plot to hound him out of the country over APC’s covert plot, in collaboration with some security agents, to frame him up allegedly on matters bordering on treason.
“Labour Party is only a political party which is contesting for power. The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has conducted an election that ranked us third, a position we have rejected and have approached the Tribunal to contest. That is our only offence.
“We, therefore, call on 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.”
The Labour Party (LP) has said that thugs and policemen have broken into their national headquarters and chased away their staff.
Abure stated this in a statement, adding that the thugs and the policemen are believed to be working for the APC.
“A few minutes ago, the national headquarters of the Labour Party in Abuja witnessed a massive attack and was broken into by a detachment of the Nigerian Police and thugs believed to be working for the All Progressives Congress, APC.
“The invaders who are armed reportedly pulled down the fences, burglaries, doors and windows to have access to our Secretariat and in the process sacked workers and party members who were at the Secretariat.
“Though, I was out of town but information has it that the agenda of the Invaders was to inaugurate an illegitimate executive which has been chosen for them by their sponsors.
“This incident is coming days after a similar invasion in our Imo state Secretariat which up till now is still being occupied by the agents of the Imo state government.
“Only yesterday, our presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi through the Presidential Campaign Council alerted Nigerians of a plot to hound him out of the country over APC’s covert plot in collaboration with some security agents to frame him up allegedly on matters bothering on treason.
“The Labour Party is only a political party which is contesting for power. The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, having conducted elections ranked us third, a position we have rejected and have approached the Tribunal to contest. That is our only offense.
“We therefore call on President Muhammadu Buhari to call his party, the APC to order and also refrain from using unorthodox means to suffocate political structures in Nigeria.
“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.
“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 their personnel. We demand they put a stop to abuse of power and respect the rights and privileges of other political parties, particularly, the Labour Party to contest for power, ” Abure added.
Meanwhile, the national leadership of the Labour Party said it is elated by the Order of the Edo State High Court restraining the Labour Party Executive of Ward 3, Arue Uromi, Edo state from suspending Barrister Julius Abure as the national chairman of the Labour Party.
The party said nothing has changed in the leadership of the party.
In the case filed before His Lordship, Justice E.O Ahamioje, with case NO. HCU/21/2023, Julius Abure on behalf of other claimants, including Chief Friday Ibadin, Patrick Onogbeni and Barr Dom Orukpe Okojie filed the Motion-Exparte against the defendants including Thompson Ehiguese who is the Ward 3 Chairman, Lucky Shaibu and Labour Party.
The enrolment orders are as follows: “An order of interim injunction restraining the 1st and 2nd defendants/respondents from submitting and/or transmitting the purported notice of suspension signed by ward 3 executive of the Labour Party to the 3rd defendant for deliberation and/or approval in respect of the subject matter of this suit, pending the determination of the motion on notice.
“An order of interim injunction restraining the 3rd defendant/respondent from acting on, executing and/or implementing the purported notice of suspension issued by the 1st and 2nd defendants/respondents over the subject matter of this suit, pending the determination of the motion on notice.
“And for such order or further orders as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case.”
A statement issued by the national secretary of the Labour Party, Alhaji Umar Farouk, said the case came up for hearing before Justice E.O. Ahamioje (Judge) sitting in High Court 4, Benin City on Wednesday, April 5, 2023.
The claimants were represented by a team of lawyers led by G.C. Igbokwe (SAN), Dr. P.E. Ayewoh Odiase, S.O. Igberease Esq., M.O. Ofondu Esq., and Mayor lyoha Esq.
Justice Ahamioje ordered as follows: “I have carefully considered the motion exparte, the supporting affidavit, the affidavit of urgency, the Exhibits annexed thereto and the written argument of learned senior counsel. After a calm consideration, I am of the view that the applicants have made out a case for the grant of the order sought. Accordingly, I hereby make an order of interim injunction restraining the 1st and 2nd defendants from submitting and/or transmitting the purported notice of suspension signed by ward 3 executive of the Labour Party to the 3rd defendant for deliberation and or approval in respect of the subject matter of this suit pending the determination of the motion on notice.
“I further decree an order of interim injunction restraining the 3rd defendant from acting on, executing and/or implementing the purported notice of suspension issued by the 1st and 2nd defendants over the subject matter of this suit pending the determination of the motion on notice.
“The enrolled order of this honourable court and the motion on notice shall be served on the defendants. Case is adjourned till 25/4/23 for the hearing of the motion on motion on notice.”
The Labour Party stated that it believes in the rule of law and that for somebody to have been indicted, it meant that the police would have concluded their investigation and taken to court for trial.
“It is only the court that has the power to pronounce guilt on any individual. So whosoever alleges must also prove the allegation. Allegation does not amount to conviction and until the final determination of the matters, we will continue to oversee the affairs of the party.
“Again, the Labour Party as a legal entity has a constitution and a set of laws that guides it. Members are bound to follow it. The power to remove the national chairman of our party lies only on the National Convention. The ward executive cannot initiate or activate the suspension of the national chairman.
“Finally, we urge our teeming party supporters to remain calm and continue to have fate in the judiciary. All the allegations against our chairman by a few disgruntled elements are merely figments of their imagination and will be consequently dealt with.
“Meanwhile, nothing has changed as their efforts to remove the chairman are null and of no effect, ” the national secretary added.
36 LP State Chairmen Pass Vote Of Confidence On Abure
The Labour Party State chairmen across the country have passed a vote of confidence on the national chairman of the party, Barr. Julius Abure, reiterating their support for his leadership.
The chairmen who converged in Benin chanted solidarity songs and noted that the opposition political parties are using few bad eggs in the LP, who have left the party, to cause disaffection between the party and its supporters.
High Chief Rotimi Kehinde described the alleged suspension of Abure as null and void as it did not follow the Labour Party Constitution that provides the state executive chairmen in Council the power to suspend or pass a vote of confidence on the national chairman.
He said, “We are in Benin in solidarity with our national chairman, Barr. Julius Abure passed a vote of confidence on him.
“It is clear that this crop of persons claiming to have suspended the national chairman of our party have long left the party and do not have the right to suspend the chairman. Barr. Abure has put in so much effort to bring the party to limelight and based on that, we are fully behind him as our national chairman until the expiration of his tenure”.
The Edo State chairman, Comrade Kelly Ogbaloi said that opposition parties were sponsoring the alleged suspension as a way to distract the party from recovering its stolen mandate in the last general election.
According to Ogbaloi, the party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, and the national leadership were working hard to recover their mandate and would therefore not accommodate any distraction from those who want to discredit the Labour Party before Nigerians.
He said, “As leaders in our various states, we are reaffirming our unalloyed support to Barr. Abure as our authentic national chairman, ” he added.
On his part Abure noted that Nigeria democracy is undergoing a trial but expressed belief that the judiciary would prove its mettle defending the rule of law.
He also commended Nigerians for their tremendous support in the just concluded general election, assuring that the stolen mandate would be recovered.
He said the party has resolved to resist all antics to suppress, intimidate and deny the mission to usher in a new Nigeria.
“This democracy was fought for and must be preserved by all lovers of democracy, especially the Judiciary. Today our democracy is on trial but the Judiciary must do everything within its power to defend and preserve it,” he added…… CONTINUE READING