The suspended National Chairman of the Labour Party (LP), Julius Abure on Thursday stormed the party’s national secretariat in Abuja and resumed duties.
Naija News understands Abure returned along with some other suspended national officers to assume their various positions.
Addressing a press conference at the party’s secretariat on the development, Abure justified his decision to return to the office by claiming the FCT High Court’s order suspending him can no longer be enforced because the party had appealed the ruling before the Court of Appeal.
By implication, he claimed the high court no longer has jurisdiction over the matter.
Also, Abure denied allegations by the Lamidi Apapa-led faction of the party that he collected 500 million Naira to endorse Godswill Akpabio for the seat of the 10th National Assembly Senate President.
Furthermore, he denied allegations that he is behind the attack on Apapa and his team at the Presidential Election Tribunal on Wednesday.
According to the Labour Party Chairman, “A cursory look at the originating summons which is pending before the High Court of the FCT, Apapa and his cohorts asking that court upon granting their reliefs in the final judgement to direct the NEC to appoint interim National officers for the party.
“Out of desperation they are not patient enough to wait for the outcome of the final judgment but employed self-help and appoint themselves as National Officers of the Party.
“However, our objection to the court jurisdiction was overruled by Justice J. Muazu of FCT High Court on the 12th of May. On the same day, we filed a Notice of Appeal. Then on Wednesday 17th May, the Appeal was entered at the Court of Appeal No. CA/ABJ/CV/559/2023. Also, we have filled our Appellant Brief of Argument which has been served on the trial courts.
“By necessary implication, the FCT High Court in Maitama ceases to have jurisdiction over the matter. The matter is now on the course list of the Court of Appeal. So, what the High Court judge is expected to do is to adjourn the matter sine-die.
“It is worthy of note that in 2021 in Suleiman V. APC reported in NWLR (2023) 5 NWLR 211-416 Supreme Court same Justice Muazu wrongly assumed jurisdiction. His decision jettison by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme. This report was communicated but surprisingly he went ahead to assume jurisdiction.
“However, having appealed and file a motion for stay which has been served on the judge, I and my colleagues have now fully assumed our constitutional responsibilities as National Officers of the Party.
What We Told Akpabio
Abure while denying receiving any money from Senator Godswill Akpabio to endorse his Senate Presidency ambition, said it is normal to listen to what any opposition political party has to say.
He added that they made it clear during the meeting that the responsibility of choosing the Senate President lies with the legislators.
“An opposition political party says it is coming to visit you, it is that you listen to what they are coming to say. And so we obliged them the opportunity to solicit our support but we made it abundantly clear that the responsibility to appoint Senate President is that of the legislature and I want to make it very clear that no money was given,” Abure said.
Arabambi Holds Parallel Press Conference
In a related development, the expelled former publicity secretary of the Labour Party, Abayomi Arabambi during a separate press conference accused the Abure-led faction of conniving with the All Progressive Congress (APC) and accepting 500 million Naira to promote Akpabio’s bid for the Senate presidency.
He said the refusal by Abure and his team to submit the party’s member list to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the deadline may put the party in danger of losing the governorship and the senatorial seats it had won in Abia and Kano states respectively.
Arabambi who alleged he and his colleagues have been receiving death threats if they ever visited the tribunal again also accused Abure and the LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi of denying them access to party funds by changing the signatories to the account.
“What is Abure doing with Akpabio? These are the people they took to court claiming they heh have a stolen mandate. They are playing on the intelligence of Nigerians. Obi will not see now that they are working against the party because all of them will share in the money they collected.
“We may lose the only Governor we have, which is in Abia and also our positions in Kano because Abure failed to submit the register in line with the electoral act.
“We have been receiving threat to life, warning us to stay away from the tribunal. You saw what happened there yesterday. But we will go there whatever they want to do to us they should do,” he said.
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