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The last has not been heard of the crisis rocking the Labour Party (LP) as the embattled National Chairman of the party, Comrade Julius Abure and his national executive committee may be charged with forgery, conspiracy, and perjury.
We report that Abure was suspended indefinitely by his Edo Labour Party Ward Executive for various offences such as forgery and perjury and subsequently removed as the national chairman of the party.
According to documents obtained by SaharaReporters, Abure and his national executive committee members were indicted in a police investigation on the alleged forgery of signatures of candidates who won party primaries but had their tickets given to other persons.
They were alleged to have given the ticket of the Orhionmwon/Uhunmwonde Edo federal constituency won by Imasuen Paul Murphy to former Edo State House of Assembly Speaker, Rt Hon. Uyinmwen Ativie. Also, the governorship ticket for Ebonyi state won by Eze Oko was given to one Nkwegu Edward Okereke, who was declared as the governorship candidate of the party.
The LP chairman allegedly forged withdrawal letters and sworn court affidavits on oath, which were submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to replace candidates who participated in primary elections with their preferred candidates.
The Certified True Copies of the police investigation report on the alleged forgery and perjury of the Voluntary Withdrawal Letter of Oko from contesting the governorship election in Ebonyi state submitted to INEC obtained on Friday, revealed that Oko’s signature was forged.
The report, “Re: Alleged Case Of Forgery, Perjury And Criminal Conspiracy”, was signed by Assistant Commissioner of Police Special Enquiry Bureau Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, ACP Junaid Bukar.
The report partly reads: “This deals with an alleged case of Conspiracy, Forgery and Perjury reported to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police by J. O. Asoluka, SAN and Co. on behalf of Mr. Eze Oko ‘M’ against above-mentioned suspects of the Labour Party. The petition was approved and referred to the Special Enquiry Bureau (SEB) through letter No. CS:7000/X/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.579/134 dated 23 September, 2022 for Investigation and report.”
On the facts of the case, the report says: “The complainant, Mr Eze Oko ‘M alleged that on 9 June, 2022 he fully participated and won the 2023 Gubernatorial Primary Election of the Labour Party (LP) in Ebony, State which was duly monitored by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Consequently, his name was submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the Ebonyi State Gubernatorial candidate of the Political Party for the 2023 General Election.
“He further alleged that without his consent/knowledge and authorization, he was substituted with one Nkegwu Edward Okereke who participated in the Primary election of All Progressive Congress (APC) and failed. That the substitution was fraudulently effected through an allegedly forged withdrawal Letter and Membership Card purported to be signed by him which was submitted to INEC.
“Findings: From the investigation carried out, the following findings emerged: The Complainant, Eze Okoh is a member of the Labour Party, Ebonyi State.
“That the Complainant Participated in the Ebonyi State Primary Gubernatorial Election held on 9th June, 2022 and emerged the winner in the Primary Election.
“That Inyia Plus, Oko Darlington and Ejiofor Chukwu are the members of the Electoral Panel who conducted the election for Labour Party Primary Election, Ebonyi State.
“A withdrawal Letter by Eze Oko who emerged the winner of the Ebonyi State Primary Election was submitted to INEC. That the withdrawal letter allegedly signed by Eze Oko was proven to be comprehensively false and forged.
“That the said Eze Oko stated categorically that he did not sign the withdrawal letter. The withdrawal letter alongside other signature specimens of Eze Oko was sent to the Forensic Expert of the Nigeria Police Force for analysis. That analysis of the signature sent to the Forensic Department revealed that the signature was forged.”
On its recommendation, the police report says, “From investigation conducted so far, a prima facie case of Conspiracy and Forgery has been established against the suspects as the Forensic experts have confirmed that the Party submitted a withdrawal Letter that was forged.
“However, some of the suspects have vehemently refused to report in order to exercise their right to fair hearing despite writing them four different letters.
“This in itself is an affront to constituted authority as well as blatant disregard to law and order. It is worthy to note that the vehement refusal of the National Chairman, The National Secretary and the National Treasurer of the Labour Party to report for an interview has prompted the Procurement of Warrants of Arrest to compel their appearances to enable us conclude investigation for Public Interest.
“However, it is recommended that a duplicate copy of the case file be forwarded to the Legal Department for vetting, advice and necessary action with the Court.”