Labour Party accuses Lamidi Apapa of deception, says Appeal Court never declared him chairman

The Labour Party, LP, has taken exception to the penchant of Lamidi Apapa, factional leader of the party for misleading members of the public through false claims.

The Apapa group had on Thursday claimed that the Appeal Court in Owerri had pronounced him the authentic national chairman of the party.

However, in a swift reaction, Obiora Ifoh, National Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party debunked the claim, describing it as misinformation deliberately crafted to deceive the public.

In a statement he personally signed, Ifoh said: “It was another devastating blow for the Lamidi Apapa led dissident group as the Court of Appeal Owerri, sitting in Abuja today, Thursday August 24, 2023 dismissed the appeal filed by one Mr. Basil Maduka, who is contesting for the Labour Party governorship candidate for Imo State.”
According to him, the court further held that the appeal by the Labour Party was not necessary, as the decision of the trial court was in its favour, and that mere comments of the trial judge in the matter was not a judgement and should be discountenanced.

He continued: “The Labour Party had asked the Court of Appeal to quash the comments of the trial court in the Federal High Court Owerri. The Labour party also told the court that Senator Athan Achonu won the party’s primaries.

“The attention seeking camp of Lamidi Apapa had earlier today as usual misinformed the public by twisting the clear judgement of the appellate court.

“It is, therefore, important to state that neither the Federal High Court, Owerri, nor the Court of Appeal Owerri, which sat in Abuja today made any orders in the matter other than for lack of locus standi against the plaintiff (Basil Maduka).

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“Consequently, the status quo remains with Senator Athan Achonu as the validly nominated candidate of Labour Party for 2023 Imo governorship election

“With this Court of Appeal judgment and the endorsement of Senator Achonu by our national leader, Peter Obi, Abia State governor, Alex Otti, the Labour Party National Chairman, Julius Abure, and other stakeholders and party members, the dust has settled on the gubernatorial ticket issue.

“Achonu has received the governorship flag of the party and has since flagged off his campaign with a well attended ceremony in Owerri on Tuesday.”

It will be recalled that the Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City recently affirmed Julius Abure as the National Chairman of the Labour Party,LP.

Throwing more light on the matter, the LP publicity scribe explained: “In the case of Mr. Lucky Shaibu v. Julius Abure & 5 ORS (Appeal No: CA/B/93/2023), His Lordships Justice Theresa Ngolika Orji Abadua, Fatima Omoro Akinbami and Hon. Justice Sybil O. Nwaka-Gbagi in a unanimous decision dismissed the appeal of the Appellant.

“In his lead judgment Justice Abadua, while nullifying the earlier suspension and all actions taken against Abure and the party arising from the purported suspension, affirmed the decision of the High Court of Edo State and held that one man cannot suspend the national chairman of Labour Party in line with Article 13 and 17 of the Constitution of the Party and the extant Electoral Act of 2022 particularly when the appellant has been described by the party as unknown.

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“We are, therefore, calling on the Labour Party members, Obidient faithful and the general public to distance themselves from these falling and compromised members of the party who have since been shoved out of the party.”

According to a legal luminary, who is conversant with the court proceedings, Barrister Goddy Uwazuruike, there was no such prayer by Apapa before the Appeal Court to be declared the chair and there was also no such declaration by any court.
He added that “the Benin Division of the Court of Appeal had set aside the suspension of Abure, which was the basis of the FCT High Court ex parte order. In other words, the basis no longer exists.”
Uwazuruike noted that the ex parte order is even on appeal.
He further explained that the basis of the ex parte order was the suspension, which no longer exists.
The former Aka Ikenga chieftain posited that “the courts in Owerri and Bayelsa did not delve into the Abure chairmanship, as that would amount to judicial rascality,” he said, adding that “the Owerri case was heard in the absence of Athan, which was unconstitutional.”
In conclusion, Uwazuruike disclosed that contrary to the claims of the Apapa camp, what the Court of Appeal did was only to state that the motion of Athan to join the proceedings was filed late.

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