Others are the National Organising Secretary, Mr Clement Ojukwu, and the National Treasurer, Oluchi Opara, who are posing as LP national officials.
Martins Esikpali John, Lucky Shaibu, Isah Zekeri, Omogbai Frank, Abokhaiu Aliu, Ayohkaire Lateef, John Elomah, and Dr Ayobami Arabambi are the plaintiffs in the case.
They had sought the removal of Abure and three other national officers of the party in an ex-parte motion marked M/7082/2023, to which the judge granted an order of suspension.
After hearing arguments from the parties, the judge granted an order to stay execution pending the outcome of the defendants’ appeal.
On April 5, Justice Muazu issued an interim injunction prohibiting Abure, Ibrahim, and the party’s National Organising Secretary, Mr Clement Ojukwu, and National Treasurer, Oluchi Opara, from acting as LP national officers.
This was stated in an ex-parte motion filed before the court by the eight plaintiffs, marked M/7082/2023.
During today’s hearing, the defendants informed the court that they have a notice of appeal pending with the court.
After much deliberation by the parties, the judge granted a stay of the suspension.
Following Justice Muazu’s ex-parte injunction on April 5 that barred Abure, Ibrahim, and two other national party officials from leaving the country, Alex Ejesieme, SAN argued on April 20 that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.
The senior advocate argued that the case before the court involved internal Labour Party matters, and that criminal allegations made by the plaintiffs in the case could not be addressed in an origination summons.
He also stated that the eight plaintiffs who brought the case before the court were not members of the party’s National Executive Council and thus lacked the locus standi to bring the case.
“Our contention is very clear,” Ejesieme says, “that those criminal allegations cannot be ventilated in an origination summon.”
“The locus standi problem exists. According to the LP constitution, the claimants are not members of the NEC or the party.
They owed it to the court to present their membership cards, which they failed to do.”
While objecting to Abure’s preliminary objection, counsel for the plaintiffs, Mr George Ibrahim, urged the court to dismiss it.
According to him, the first through fourth defendants had yet to comply with the court’s April 5 order because they were still posing as LP national officers.
The court’s order of April 5 remains in effect as a result of its ruling on having jurisdiction to hear the case.
The judge then postponed hearing the substantive case until today.
Previously, the plaintiffs had informed the court, through their counsel, Ogwu Onoja SAN, that Abure and the three other national officials allegedly forged several FCT High Court documents, including receipts, seals, and affidavits, in order to carry out illegal substitutions in the last general election.
According to Onoja, the four people will be arraigned in court following their indictment by police investigation, and warrants for their arrest have already been obtained.