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Apapa Makes Moves To Take Over Labour Party’s National Secretariat, Asks Court To Compel Inspector General Of Police To Act

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Mr Apapa also sought a perpetual injunction restraining Mr Abure from further representing or parading himself as the national chairman.

Lamidi Apapa, the acting national chairman of the Labour Party (LP), has prayed the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to compel the Inspector-General of Police to eject the party’s embattled national chairman, Julius Abure, from its party’s national secretariat.

In a fresh suit filed before Justice Ahmed Mohammed, Mr Apapa also sought a perpetual injunction restraining Mr Abure and three other suspended national officers from further representing or parading themselves as national chairman and officers of the party.

Mr Apapa; Lawal Saleh, acting national secretary; Anslem Eragbe, national youth leader and LP are the first to fourth plaintiffs in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/777/23 and filed by their lawyer, Anderson Asamota.

The plaintiffs had sued Mr Abure as suspended national chairman; Farouk Umaru, suspended national secretary; Ojukwu Clement, suspended organising secretary; Oluci Opara, suspended national treasurer and IGP as first to fifth defendants, respectively.

In the latest case dated June 1, the plaintiffs sought nine reliefs which include “an order setting aside or nullifying all steps or proceedings conducted by the first to fourth defendants, actions or decisions taken, documents or correspondences prepared, authored, signed and issued by them, after they were restrained by the FCT High Court on April 5 and suspended by the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Labour Party on May 3, 2023.

“An order of mandatory injunction directing or compelling the 1st to 4th defendants, whether acting by themselves or through their officers, privies, representatives, attorneys and/or agents, to render account of all monies or funds received by them through gift, donations, contributions for and on behalf of the party and return or refund all the monies or gift received by them for and on behalf of the party.”

The plaintiff, who prayed the court to eject Mr Abure and the three co-defendants from the party’s national secretariat at No. 2, IBM Haruna Street, Utako, Abuja, described them as “illegal occupants.”

They sought a declaration that by virtue of Articles 13 (2)(B)(xvii), 17(ii), and 19(2) (C) & (3)C of the constitution of the Labour Party, 2019 (as amended), the NEC of the LP is empowered and/or inundated with powers to take disciplinary action or discipline the erring members and national officers of the party for misconduct.

They said by the party’s constitution, Mr Abure, having been suspended by the NEC, cannot continue to hold himself out as the national chairman of the party, “which is a privilege only enjoyed by members of the party,” among other reliefs.

In the affidavit deposed by Mr Eragbe, he said an FCT High Court on April 5 restrained the first to fourth defendants parading themselves as national chairman and national officers of the party.

He averred that despite the said restraining order “hanging over their necks like the sword of Damocles,” they continued to parade themselves as national officers of the party in various fora and meetings in flagrant disobedience of the order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

Based on this, Mr Eragbe said the NEC, in its meeting held on May 3, reached a resolution suspending the four of them.

He said the decision was based on their “numerous acts of contempt of the FCT High Court restraining order, convening, holding and participating in illegal NEC meetings on April 18 in Asaba, Delta.

He also said it was for their involvement in fraudulent activities and anti-party activities, especially as it pertains to the conduct of pseudo-gubernatorial primaries in Imo State, Bayelsa State, and Kogi State on 15th April 2023.

When the matter was called on Monday, Mr Asamota, who appeared for the plaintiffs, told the court that the matter was slated for mention and all the defendants had been duly served.

He then prayed the court to adjourn the matter for hearing.

But Kehinde Edun, the lawyer representing the suspended national secretary, said Messrs Abure, Clement, and Opara had not been served with the court papers, which necessitated their not being represented in court.

Justice Mohammed, therefore, directed the court registrar to crosscheck from the record if all the defendants were served, but the registrar confirmed that only Abure (the first defendant) was served with a hearing notice.

The judge, who adjourned the matter until November 28 for further mention, ordered that the originating summons and hearing notices be served on all the necessary parties.

(NAN)

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Wike Notified PDP Before Accepting Ministerial Offer – NEC Members

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“Before this appointment came, I wrote to the (PDP) National Chairman. I wrote to the minority leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate. I wrote to the zonal chairman of the party and my state chairman.

“I wrote to my governor and all of them wrote me back and said ‘accept.’ I have my evidence documented. Forget these reggae dancers. I call them reggae dancers because when you have lost your opportunity, you have lost because of arrogance and impunity.”

Meanwhile, the PDP NEC members confirmed that Wike in a letter addressed to the party’s acting National Chairman, Umar Damagum, informed the party of a ministerial offer for him to serve in Tinubu’s cabinet.

“Before this appointment came, I wrote to the (PDP) National Chairman. I wrote to the minority leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate. I wrote to the zonal chairman of the party and my state chairman.

“I wrote to my governor and all of them wrote me back and said ‘accept.’ I have my evidence documented. Forget these reggae dancers. I call them reggae dancers because when you have lost your opportunity, you have lost because of arrogance and impunity.”

Meanwhile, the PDP NEC members confirmed that Wike in a letter addressed to the party’s acting National Chairman, Umar Damagum, informed the party of a ministerial offer for him to serve in Tinubu’s cabinet.

Abdullahi told our correspondent in an interview on Friday that Wike sent a letter to PDP acting chairman before accepting Tinubu’s offer. He noted that Wike in the letter informed Damagum that he was going to “answer President Tinubu’s clarion call” and requested for approval.

He stated, “Before he accepted the appointment of the governing party, Governor Wike decided to accept the offer after informing the party. In other words, he had written to the party stating his position. But the party did not respond to him, whether to confirm its approval for him to accept the appointment or for him not to take the position. What we just did was to keep mum and watch events.

“In the letter he wrote to the party, Wike explained that he was going to answer the clarion call by the President and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Therefore, the party has not taken a position as to whether or not that will be in its interest.”

When asked why the party kept mum on the issue, the party’s deputy spokesperson said, “Because we were indifferent. The letter was just to inform the party. You can tell from the wording in the letter that his mind was made up. He routed the letter through the PDP Vice Chairman, South-South, Chief Dan Orbih, to the acting national chairman, explaining that this is the time to shun party affiliation to work for a united and prosperous Nigeria.”

Also, a member of the said, “Wike wrote all those he listed, including Damagum”.

Confiding in our correspondent, the member said, “They cannot deny it; they were all informed. He informed them that Tinubu wanted to form a government of national unity and competence and he gave him a ministerial offer.”

Responding to a question on whether the party gave him approval, the source said, “I’m not aware, but to be honest, can any of these people tell him not to accept the offer?”

Call for expulsion

Meanwhile, the Deputy National Youth Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, Timothy Osadolor, has reiterated his call for the expulsion of the minister over what he termed anti-party activities.

He said the youth wing of the party believed there should be no sacred cows and that continued indulgence of anti-party activities among members would send wrong signals to committed members of the party.

Osadolor in an interview with Saturday PUNCH said, “I’m of the school of thought that former governor Wike should be expelled from the party until he purges himself of the anti-party spirit that has taken over him. For the youth wing of the party, we believe that discipline should be instilled in all members without exception when they err. There should be no sacred cows.

“We believe strongly that the party will stand to gain more when it shows it does not support anti-party activities from members, especially senior members of the party. Wike has shown he is against PDP and therefore he should not claim to have her interest at heart.”

NWC divided – Ex-gov

A two-time former governor from the North-West has expressed concern over the division in the party’s National Working Committee over Atiku and Wike.


The former governor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Wike and his group were instrumental in the victory of some national officers of the party and that while many fell out with him for working against the party, some remained loyal to him.

The former governor said, “The two leaders (Atiku and Wike) are dividing the leadership of the party with their utterances and this is not good for us as a party in opposition,” as he warned that the future of the party might be worse than it is currently if urgent steps were not taken to address what he called the leadership gap in the party.

He added, “The party is facing an uncertain future. As a leader of the party, I am shocked that Mr Umar Damagum (the acting national chairman) is yet to present his plan for the party before the stakeholders. He is torn between his loyalty to Atiku and Wike. As things stand, things would only get worse because either Atiku or Wike must give way for the party to breathe.

“My stand is that the leadership of the party should stand its ground and deal with those who worked against the party. If this is not done, discipline will be difficult to enforce in the future.”

A former National Secretary of the party, Ibrahim Tsauri, however urged party faithful to be patient, noting that the Supreme Court would soon give a final judgment on the election petition, to enable the party to decide on the next line of action. “Like I always say, no single individual is big enough to kill the PDP, which is the only organised and truly national party in Nigeria. We will deal with these issues at the appropriate time,” he added.

Punch

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Kogi Labour Party Denies LG Chairmen Defection To APC

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The Labour Party in Kogi State has debunked the rumours making the round that 21 local government chairmen of the party have defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Addressing newsmen at the party’s secretariat in Lokoja, the Publicity Secretary,  Idakwo Emmanuel said that there was no iota of truth in the rumours adding that it was an act of desperation on the part of APC.

“The level of desperacy of the ruling party is despicable and regrettably lugubrious,” he said.

According to him, “The campaign of Labour Party in Kogi State was flagged off by Mr Peter Obi, the presidential candidate and national leader of the part. The national chairman Julius Abure and other NWC members in attendance were also in attendance.

“Obviously the silence of our party is loud and terrifying to the ruling party as unknown and unidentifiable individuals are now sponsored by them to deceive the masses claiming to be Labour Party local government chairmen.

“I hereby state without equivocation that the structure of the Labour Party is intact and solidly working hard to rescue our dear state, and our move as a party is organic with genuine supporters and members.”

He said that the media and audience following must reject all individuals who are not card-carrying members of the party.

Punch

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NNPP Blames Kwankwaso As Tribunal Sacks Kano Gov

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The New Nigeria People’s Party has blamed a former presidential candidate of the party, Rabiu Kwankwaso of being responsible for the loss of Kano governor, Yusuf Abba at the State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.

The party insisted that Kwankwaso allegedly sold out NNPP to the ruling All Progressives Congress in order to negotiate for a ministerial slot in the President Bola Tinubu-led government.

The Kano State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal had on Wednesday, sacked Abba, and declared the APC candidate, Nasir Gawuna, winner of the March 18 governorship poll.

The three-man panel, led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay, further withdrew the Certificate of Return the Independent National Electoral Commission presented to Yusuf.

Stating reasons why the Kano governor was sacked, the panel said the margin of votes scored by NNPP was invalid and not in compliance with the 2022 electoral act.

The judges deducted 165,663 votes from the NNPP, adding that the ballot papers of the 165,663 were not stamped or signed and therefore declared invalid.

Reacting, One of the Chieftain of NNPP in Southwest, Alhaji Abass Akande Onilewura, in a statement made available to newsmen on Thursday, said the loss of the party in Kano corroborated the anti-party allegation raised against Kwankwaso.

Onilewura stressed that the former NNPP flagbearer’s alleged involvement in anti-party activities led to the big loss the party is facing with the declaration of the Tribunal in Kano.

He insisted that Kwankwaso did not follow due process in the selection of some of the governorship candidates for the party, which reportedly led to the filing of unpopular or unacceptable flagbearers.

He added, “This loss is a big one for us at NNPP and it only happened because of the selfishness of Kwankwaso who sold the party to the highest bidder.

“While we are still waiting for the Certified True Copy of the tribunal judgment, it is important for the world to know that this would not have happened if Kwankwaso had allowed due process and given the ticket to the most qualified candidate but his inlaw.

“Our investigation also showed that the continuous engagement of Kwankwaso with APC at some point gave room for them to discover loopholes which were later used against the Kano governor to secure victory for the opposition.

“It is unfortunate that some of us sweat to get the party to where it is today, only for someone like Kwankwaso to come and make all our efforts a waste. We are happy that someone like that has been expelled from this great party.

“We also want to use the avenue to warn him to stay clear of NNPP, we don’t want a betrayal in our party and we would do anything humanly possible to secure our party from hijackers who are more concerned about personal gain.

“I will also urge our members across the country to remain calm because a new leadership has taken over the party and we would do everything to restore the glory of our party. NNPP will come out to become a strong voice and opposition that would stand for justice, equity, and good governance.”

Punch

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