Lamidi Apapa remains authentic Labour Party National Chairman as Supreme Court Dismisses Abure Led Appeal - THE LIVING GUIDE

Lamidi Apapa remains authentic Labour Party National Chairman as Supreme Court Dismisses Abure Led Appeal

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INEC Ordered to upload Ukaegbu Ikechukwu Joseph as Imo Guber candidate

By Our Correspondent

The Supreme Court has confirmed Alhaji Lamidi Apapa as the acting National Chairman of the Labour Party while the court also affirmed all candidates that emerged through primaries conducted by his faction as the authentic candidates for the off-season governorship elections for Imo, Bayelsa and Kogi States.

The confirmation followed the dismissal of the appeal filed by Senator Athan Achonu and Mr. Basil Maduka against the ruling of the lower courts.

With the Supreme Court ruling, the Lamidi Apapa Executives were confirmed as the authentic leaders of the Party.

The confirmation also confirmed Chief Ukaegbu Ikechukwu Joseph Ikenga as the Imo Labour Party Gubernatorial Candidate.

In a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Dr Abayomi Arabambi he said that the affirmation by the supreme court ruling was a result of the decision of a five-man panel of Supreme Court judges that ruled on the appeal brought before it by the SEN ATHAN Achonu of Julius Abure led faction over the April 15th 2023 governorship primaries conducted by Julius Abure Faction

"The Lamidi Apapa-led Exco also conducted its primary on April 16th, 2023.

"Senator Athan Achonu and Mr Basil Maduka who were both the aspirants endorsed by Julius Abure faction, who also took part in the April 15th Governorship primaries held by Abure against the FCT High Court restraining order made on the 5th April 2023

"While Abure and Apapa factions sent their separate list of candidates that emerges from Imo, Kogi and Bayelsa states to INEC for publications, Sir Basil Maduka who participated in the Abure-led factions primaries on the 15th day of April 2023 approached the Federal High Court Owerri division praying that by the virtues of him taking part in the April 15th primaries conducted by Abure and having paid the N25m nomination fees, the court ought to give recognition to the letter of Notification written to INEC by Julius Abure and Farouk Umaru.

"He also prayed that the Labour Party must forward his name to INEC and not the name forwarded by the Acting National Chairman Alh Bashiru Lamidi Apapa

"The Federal High Court Oweri division in his judgement delivered on the 23rd day of June 2023 premises it on two facts which are; That Sir Basil Maduka lacks locus standi to institute the action since he never participated in the primaries that were conducted on the 16th April 2023 which was legally constituted

"The court also said that the primary conducted on April 15th that was organized by Julius Abure is null and void and not known to law as Abure has lost all legal entitlement to do anything on behalf of the Labour Party because according to the judge, since Abure has been restrained by the FCT high court, his decision to communicate to INEC on the date and venue of the primaries in Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo states is illegal and 'nothing legal can come from such illegalities under Labour Party as its only ALh Lamidi Apapa led National Working Committee that can validly do any business on behalf of Labour Party in Nigeria until the restraining order is set aside by the court of Appeal

"Dissatisfied with the judgement of the Federal High Court Owerri, both Senator Athan Achonu and Sir Basil Maduka approached the Appeal Court to set aside the judgement of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal in separate judgement dismissed Senator Achonu's appeal on the 24th day of July 2023 and the same Appeal Court dismissed Sir Basil Maduka appeal on the 24th August 2023

Arabambi further said that "their appeal dismissal was based on the fact that the only authority that can conduct governorship primaries given the restraining order on the former National Chairman Julius Abure and Former National Secretary Farouk Umar is Alh Lamidi Apapa who is the Ag National Chairman and ALh Saleh Lawan who is the Ag National Secretary

"The Appeal Court also dismissed the other two governorship candidates sponsored by the Abure-led National Working Committee in Kogi state (Bar Desmond Adejoh and Bayelsa state Eradiri Udensi while affirming papa's led candidate of the party in person of Col (Dr) Vincent Enemona Abu RTD in Kogi state and Hon. Mrs Blessing Azibanagbal Clement of Bayelsa state whose candidature has now been affirmed by the supreme court

"Senator Achonu also asked the Court of Appeal to quash the comment of the trial court in the Federal High Court Owerri, insisting that he won the party’s primaries but failed woefully as this was also dismissed because it was statute bar

"Also the Court of Appeal Owerri, sitting in Abuja on Thursday, August 24, held that the Lamidi Apapa-led faction remains the authentic faction, directing the Independent National Electoral Commission to recognize candidates submitted by the Apapa-led National Working Committee

"Following the decision of the appeal Court, Senator Achonu approached the supreme court, and the five-man judge dismissed the application filed by the applicant.

"In the judgement on Monday, 11th September 2023, delivered by Musa Datijo Muhammad JSC the court dismissed an appeal submitted by Achonu following his motion for withdrawal on grounds that it constitutes nuisance has been statute-barred at the court of appeal and the same reason the appellate court dismissed it on 24th July 2023

"It could be recalled that a federal high court in Bayelsa had affirmed Mr Ikechukwu Ukaegbu IKENGA as the governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in Imo state, for the forthcoming November 11th Governorship election.

"Delivering the ruling, Emma Akko, the presiding judge, said Ukaegbu also known as Ikenga, is the rightful candidate having won the gubernatorial ticket in the primaries conducted by the Lamidi Apapa constituted electoral panel in the state on April 16.

"Akko said the primaries conducted by the Julius Abure-led faction of the LP in Imo, Bayelsa, and Kogi states were unlawful and illegal. He added that the primaries were conducted at the time Abure was restrained by a court from parading himself as the party's national chairman.

"By the September 11th judgement of the Supreme Court where the appeal by SEN ATHAN ACHONU was dismissed has ENDED his Governorship aspirations since the court has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately upload names of candidates who emerged through “valid primaries” conducted in Imo( Chief UKAEGBU IKECHUKWU JOSEPH IKENGA, Bayelsa Hon Mrs Blessing Azibanagbal Clement and Kogi state Col Dr Vincent Enemona ABU RTD.

"Also by this judgment of the Supreme Court, fictionalisation has come to an end in the Labour Party as ALh BASHIRU LAMIDI APAPA is now the National Chairman of the Labour Party in Nigeria

"Nze Akujobi, Imo state chairman of the LP, hailed the court’s judgement and described it as a true reflection of the will of the party.

"He congratulated Ukaegbu and expressed confidence in his ability and the party to win the forthcoming guber election".

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