The Lamidi Apapa-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the Labour Party (LP) has cautioned the presidential candidate of the party, Peter Obi, the governor-elect of Abia State, Alex Otti and legislators elected on the platform of the party, to distance themselves from the suspended National Chairman of the party, Julius Abure.
We report that the Apapa faction made this known in a statement to journalists signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Abayomi Arabambi.
The Labour Party accused the Abure led NWC, in collaboration with none members of the party’s NEC, including Peter Obi and others, of pushing for the suspension of members of the NWC in a meeting scheduled to hold in Asaba on Tuesday.
Arabambi warned that such action would only amount to contempt of court and all parties involved might as well risk jail term, especially when Abure and those to preside at the meeting have been restrained by court and are currently facing criminal charges in court.
The statement reads: “The attention of the National Working Committee of the Labour Party has been drawn to a plot by the suspended National Chairman of Labour Party, Julius Abure, to lure Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the party and Alex Otti, the Governor-elect of Abia State under the Labour Party into conducting an emergency National Executive Meeting (NEC) scheduled to hold in Asaba on Tuesday, April 18, 2023.
“We have also been informed that one of the agendas of the meeting is to carry out the illegal suspension of members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party by the same suspended NWC members led by Abure who is currently facing criminal charges in court.
“Last week, Julius Abure and his illegal gang executives went against a restraining Order of an Abuja High Court as a result of indictment by the Inspector General of Police through the DIG Force CID for Forgery, Perjury and impersonation in suit number CV/2930/2023 to conduct a parallel screening for governorship candidates of Labour Party from Imo, Bayelsa and Kogi State when screening was ongoing at the party’s national headquarters.
“We have been reliably informed that Abure and his gang have gathered some senators-elect, house of representatives members-elect of Labour Party, who has not been inaugurated and are also not members of NEC for the meeting to take an illegal decision against the party’s constitution.
“Such action is a contempt of court that even a child should know the impending consequences of a jail term. While the rumour of the planned Asaba kangaroo meeting has been confirmed to be true, we don’t want to believe that our presidential candidate, Peter Obi, Alex Otti, the Governor-elect of Abia State and other elected members of the party are part of this plot.
“We believe that they know of the impending consequences of holding a NEC meeting under the Abure leadership when the court has restrained them from the role of the national chairman and national secretary. They risk jail term through contempt proceedings that will be filed against them in the court, should they proceed with the plan as it’s a direct affront and insult to the presiding Judge Hon Justice H MUAZU order as granted on the 5th day of April 2023
“There is a tenet of the rule of law that should be upheld, especially for people who got their mandates on the trust of a new Nigeria of uprightness. A Nigerian that the rule of law is respected.”
Election Petition Tribunal
Arabambi advise Peter Obi to concentrate on his case at the Election Petition Tribunal and allow the court to complete its proceedings on Julius Abure and other members of the party’s NWC.
“Peter Obi should know that by the provisions of law, he is not an officer of the Labour Party. We want him to know that. Otti is not an officer of the Labour Party. It’s only the National Working Committee that can conduct the primary. Obi is not a member of the Labour Party NWC. Even if he won the presidential election, that doesn’t qualify him to become an NWC member but he can only be a member of NEC.
“By the provisions of law, anyone involved in such plot risk contempt of court and jail term.
“Labour Party was founded on principle and this is what we must continue to preserve. Obi must not join Abure to ruin the fortune of the Labour Party as the new National leadership will not condone any form of executive rascality, or malfeasance where the Labour Party will be reduced to a one-man, regional or ethnic base political party as being currently promoted by the infantile Julius Abure and his co-travellers,” he added.