Factional National Chairman of the Labour Party, Lamidi Apapa has kicked against the decision of an Edo state High Court which reportedly restored his rival, Julius Abure as substantive national chairman of the party.
An Edo State High Court presided over by Justice Emmanuel Okey Aihamoje had earlier on Friday dismissed the notice of suspension issued against the embattled National Chairman of Labour Party LP, Barrister Julius Abure by some members of his Ward 3 Executives in Esan North East local government area of the state.
The action was filed by Abure and some other executives of the Ward.
In his judgment, Justice Aihamoje had said the party ward executive in Ward 3 lacks the power under the LP constitution, particularly Articles 17 & 19 and the Electoral Act 2022 as amended to remove the national chairman of the party.
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However, speaking when he visited the Federal Capital Territory FCT Council Secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists NUJ on Friday, National Publicity Secretary of the Apapa faction, Dr Abayomi Arabambi said a matter pending before the Court of Appeal cannot be litigated by any lower court.
“So, whatever judgment they are celebrating is a mockery. However, our lawyers have filed a motion for a stay of execution of the judgment of the Edo State High Court.
“What they are done of doing is forum shopping but for now, we won’t petition the NJC.
“Labour party wouldn’t have dignified this beer parlour response laced with deliberate falsehoods or considered it necessary to react to such distortion of facts, the epistle of personal bitterness, ignorance and complete unintelligent outburst from this agent of political buccaneers, scavengers, emergency democrats, political predators and jobbers, misfits and pedestrian politicians, but for the benefit of the few in the public who may innocently be misinformed.
“We just received the judgment of the Edo State High Court today in which the court set aside the suspension of Julius Abure as a member of its ward pursuant to Article 10 (2)(I) of the Labour Party Constitution by the Ward Executive. The effect of this judgment would have just merely restored back Abure’s membership of the party since he is still restrained from parading himself as national officer of the party.
“Unfortunately, the National Executive Committee NEC, which is the highest Organ of the party, in its meeting held in Bauchi on the 3rd of May, 2023, further suspended Abure and some other members of the party for attending an illegal NEC meeting purportedly called by Julius Abure while the restraining order of the FCT High was still subsisting.
“The implication of the suspension of Abure by NEC in Bauchi makes today’s judgment a mere academic exercise as NEC which is the highest organ of the party had already suspended Abure and his cohorts. Simply put, by virtue of the restraining order of the FCT High Court which is yet to be vacated or set aside, Abure still remains restrained. Also, by virtue of the NEC suspension of Abure in Bauchi, pursuant to its powers under Article 13(2)(b)(Iv) of the Labour Party Constitution, Abure remains suspended.
“The whole world is aware that Mr. Allex Ijetieme SAN on Friday, May 12th, 2023 filled an appeal against the decision of the FCT High Court which ordered the suspension and restraining of Julius Abure and three others from parading themselves as national officers pending the determination of the originating summon and motion on notice.
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“The question begging for an answer is when a matter is before a Court of Appeal, can any junior court sit or adjudicate on the such matter again until when the appeal court decides otherwise? The answer is negative.
“Therefore, the Edo state High Court judgment is an exercise in futility, null and void as the subject matter is already a subject of appeal before the Court of Appeal in Abuja.
“Labour Party wishes to advise Mr. Allex Ijetieme SAN to tread the path of caution else we shall petition the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee of the Nigeria Bar Association NBA so that punitive measures can be taken against him for spreading deliberate falsehood against the judiciary”, he added.
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