Labour Party Issues Statement – According to Obiora Ifoh, the National Publicity Secretary of Labour Party
In a significant setback for the Lamidi Apapa-led dissident group, the Court of Appeal in Owerri, sitting in Abuja on Thursday, August 24, 2023, dismissed the appeal brought by Mr Basil Maduka, who was contesting for the Labour Party’s governorship candidacy in Imo state.
The court asserted that the appeal by the Labour Party was unnecessary since the decision of the trial court favoured them, emphasizing that the trial judge’s comments should not be misconstrued as a formal judgment.
The Labour Party had sought the Court of Appeal’s intervention to invalidate the remarks made by the trial court in the Federal High Court in Owerri. Additionally, they presented Senator Athan Achonu as the rightful winner of the party’s primaries.
The attention-seeking faction led by Lamidi Apapa had earlier attempted to distort the clear verdict of the appellate court, but it is crucial to clarify that neither the Federal High Court in Owerri nor the Court of Appeal in Owerri, which convened in Abuja, issued any orders in the case apart from recognizing the lack of locus standi in the plaintiff (Basil Maduka).
As a result, the status quo prevails, with Senator Athan Achonu remaining the officially nominated candidate of the Labour Party for the 2023 Imo gubernatorial election.
This Court of Appeal ruling, coupled with the endorsement of Senator Achonu by prominent figures such as our national leader, Peter Obi, Abia State Governor Alex Otti, Labour Party National Chairman Julius Abure, and other stakeholders and party members, has conclusively resolved the gubernatorial ticket issue. Achonu has received the party’s gubernatorial nomination and launched his campaign with a well-attended event in Owerri on Tuesday.
It is worth recalling that the Court of Appeal in Benin City recently affirmed Julius Abure as the National Chairman of the Labour Party (LP).
In the case of Mr. Lucky Shaibu v. Julius Abure & 5 ORS (Appeal No: CA/B/93/2023), the justices, including Justice Theresa Ngolika Orji Abadua, Fatima Omoro Akinbami, and Hon. Justice Sybil O. Nwaka-Gbagi, unanimously dismissed the appellant’s appeal. Justice Abadua, in her lead judgment, nullified the earlier suspension and all actions taken against Abure and the party resulting from the purported suspension. She upheld the decision of the High Court of Edo State, emphasizing that one individual cannot suspend the national chairman of the Labour Party, citing Article 13 and 17 of the Party’s Constitution and the prevailing Electoral Act of 2022, especially when the appellant has been characterized by the party as an unknown entity.
In light of these developments, we urge Labour Party members, loyal supporters, and the general public to distance themselves from these discredited and expelled members of the party.