Apapa Camp Describes Court Judgment Restraining Faction as Mockery, Reveals Next Line of Action
Lamidi Apapa, the factional national chairman of the Labour Party, has spoken out against a recent ruling by an Edo State High Court, which allegedly reinstated Julius Abure as the party’s substantive national chairman.
Justice Emmanuel Okey Aihamoje, presiding over the Edo State High Court, dismissed on Friday the suspension notice issued against Barrister Julius Abure by members of his Ward 3 Executives in the Esan North East local government area of the state.
This online newspaper learned that Abure and a number of other ward executives had filed the lawsuit.
According to the Labour Party constitution (specifically Articles 17 and 19) and the amended Electoral Act of 2022, Justice Aihamoje ruled that the Ward 3 executive of the Labour Party lacked the authority to remove the national chairman.
The National Publicity Secretary of the Apapa faction, Dr. Abayomi Arabambi, expressed his disagreement during a visit to the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) FCT Council Secretariat.
Arabambi argued that a lower court cannot litigate a case that is pending before the Court of Appeals and derided the celebration of the decision as a joke.
“Our attorneys have filed a motion to halt the execution of the Edo State High Court’s ruling,” declared Arabambi.
In addition, he criticised the opposing faction for engaging in forum shopping and stated that they would not petition the NJC (National Judicial Council).
Arabambi emphasised that the Labour Party would not honour a “beer hall response” containing falsehoods and factual distortions. He referred to the opposing faction as political buccaneers, scavengers, and jobbers to emphasise their lack of intelligence and ignorance.
Arabambi clarified that while the Edo State High Court’s ruling reinstated Abure’s party membership, it did not give him the authority to serve as a national officer.
During a meeting held on 3 May 2023 in Bauchi, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party suspended Abure.
Arabambi explained that the NEC’s suspension, based on their authority under Labour Party Constitution Article 13(2)(b)(IV), rendered the recent ruling of the Edo State High Court irrelevant.
He emphasised that Abure’s actions were further restricted by the restraining order issued by the FCT High Court, which was still in effect. According to him, Abure’s suspension by the NEC and the ongoing appeal filed against the decision of the FCT High Court rendered the judgement of the Edo State High Court null.
Arabambi emphasised that an appeal against the ruling of the FCT High Court was already underway, with Mr. Allex Ijetieme SAN leading the case.
He questioned the legitimacy of any lower court deciding a case pending before the Court of Appeals, claiming that it was impossible until the appeals court ruled otherwise.
As the matter was already under appeal at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, he dismissed the Edo State High Court’s ruling as futile and null and void.