March 2, 2024

LP Rejects Judgement Against Its Elected Members, As Judge Denies Nullifying Abia Gov’ship Election, Blames Apapa

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By Simeon OSAJIE

The leadership of the Labour Party (LP) has rejected a judgement nullifying the election of its candidates in the 2023 general elections, saying it is frivolous, ridiculous and holds no water.

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Recall that Justice Mohammed Yunusa of the  Federal High Court Kano on Friday 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.

But the party in a statement on Friday signed by its Acting National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, expressed concern with the haste with which Justice Yunusa of Kano High Court discharged its duties within only 48 hours.

Ifoh said the case was taken to the court by the suspended members of the party loyal to the former deputy National Chairman, Lamidi Apapa.

“Labour Party which is mentioned as a respondent was not aware of any suit against in Kano State as the party was not served with any summons,” he added,

According to the party, the former National Legal Adviser, Samuel Akingbade Oyelekan, who acted as its representative in the case, has since ceased from being an officer of the party and his appearance for the party is not with any authorization from the leadership of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).

“The judgement is not only inconsequential but also laughable and holds no water. The court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain election matters at a time when elections have since been concluded and winners emerged. The Kano Court is also not a tribunal which has the constitutional powers to entertain pre-election matters.

“Labour party has repeatedly raised the alarm of the plots by the opposition parties to ensure that Labour Party is engulfed in crisis. Few weeks ago, we alerted Nigerians of plots to hijack the party and by extension, target all our cases in the tribunal. We have since produced evidences of the letters initiated by Akingbade to various tribunals asking for withdrawal of cases before them.

“For the upteempth time, Samuel Akingbade, Lamidi Apapa, Abayomi Arabambi and everyone in that camp have ceased to be representing Labour Party in whatever capacity and statement serves as a disclaimer on them and for the information of Nigerians. Today at the At the FCT state High Court before Justice Hamza Muazu in a matter between Apapa’s group and Abure, the Judge among other things reprimanded Apapa camp for attempting to take over the leadership of the Labour party and constituting themselves into a nuisance,” the party said.

Meanwhile, a Federal High Court has denied nullifying the candidature of the Abia Governor-elect, Dr. Alex Otti, who contested the election on the platform of the Labour Party, LP.

The court, however, said it nullified the election of the Kano LP candidates that contested the 2023 general election.

Recalls that Ibrahim Haruna-Ibrahim had filed an application asking the court to revoke and set aside the certificate of return issued to all LP candidates declared winners in Kano and the 35 states of the Federation, including the FCT, Abuja.

However, following the mixed reactions that have trailed the judgement, Justice Nasir-Yunusa affirmed that the candidates in Abia who took part in the just-concluded general elections were not parties in the suit.

Nasir-Yunusa said the court declared only the primary election of the Labour Party in Kano State null and void.

“This court lacks jurisdiction to make an order for the issuance of certificate of return.

“They are at liberty to seek redress in the appropriate division of the court,” he said.

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