The crisis rocking the Labour Party seems to be growing wider by the day as the Lamidi Apapa-led faction of the Party has maintained that the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting scheduled to hold in Bauchi on May 3 will go ahead.
Recall that Apapa had invited the party’s Presidential candidate, Peter Obi, Abia Governor-Elect Alex Otti, Senators, House of Representatives members, and other chieftains to a NEC meeting scheduled for May 3rd.
The letter dated April 28, 2023, titled, ‘Invitation To The Labour Party (LP) National Executive Council, NEC Meeting,’ was signed by Apapa, Acting National Chairman, and Alhaji Saleh Lawan, Acting National Secretary, Naija News understands.
But in a statement to journalists, LP’s Acting National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, said the proposed NEC meeting by the Apapa-led faction scheduled for May 3 is illegal.
Ifoh asked members of the party to ignore the invitations extended to them by Apapa, saying he did not have the powers to summon a NEC meeting, being a suspended Deputy National Chairman.
The party called on the management of the hotel where the meeting is planning to hold to refuse offering their venue for the meeting.
Reacting in a statement of their own signed by the spokesman of the faction, Abayomi Arabambi, Apapa said the NEC meeting was called to right the wrongs and illegality of the contempt of court orders perpetrated by Julius Abure whom the FCT High Court restrained from parading himself as National Officers of the Labour Party.
According to him, elected state and National Assembly members from the party, NWC, and NEC members, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), and others have all been invited to the NEC meeting.
The factional Chairman recalled that the “NWC had given the Inspector-General of Police and Director General, Department of State Security Service, a leave to arrest and prosecute Obiora Ifoh, an impostor impersonating the Acting National Publicity Secretary of Labour Party.”
Apapa accused Abure of deliberately committing contempt against the FCT High Court over the restraining orders reportedly issued on April 5, 17, and 20, 2023, by “illegally conducting a Labour Party NEC meeting in Asaba, Delta State on 18th April 2023 and issuance of illegal appointment letters to states executives, etc.”
While describing the Asaba NEC meeting as illegal, Apapa disclosed that “warrants of arrest have been procured for the arrest of Julius Abure and others” over their indictment for alleged “forgery, perjury, and criminal conspiracy.”
Speaking further, Apapa said: “The NWC has declared as illegal, null and void and of no consequence, the charade conducted by Julius Abure and his criminal gang on 15th April 2023 during the gubernatorial primaries conducted in Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo states in the 2023 off season elections for November 2023.
“Abure wittingly and surreptitiously tricked Mr. Peter Obi, Governor-elect Alex Otti of Abia State, Senators, members of House of Representatives, and states Assembly members elected on the platform of the Labour Party 2023 to commit contempt against the FCT High Court Restraining Order on them.
“The authentic National Executive Council, NEC meeting of the Labour Party has been scheduled for 3rd May 2023 in Bauchi, Bauchi State by the Alhaji Lamidi Bashiru Apapa led National Working Committee, NWC, and there is no going back.
“Obiora Ifoh should be disregarded as his press release is useless and of no consequence amounting to the antics of a Buffone.
“The Labour Party under the leadership of Alhaji Lamidi Bashiru Apapa shall continue to operate within the limit of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as it affects the FCT High Court Restraining Order on Julius Abure and others from parading themselves as National Officers of the Labour Party and in accordance with the Labour Party constitution 2019 as amended.
“The Labour Party NWC led by Alhaji Lamidi Bashiru Apapa has committed itself to reclaim the stolen mandate of the Labour Party, using the Election Manager Situation Room Mobile Application to recover all the missing Forms EC8A littered across the polling units in Nigeria for which Julius Abure couldn’t provide over 42,000 polling units Agents for the 2023 presidential and national elections.
“The matter in FCT High Court bothers on the criminality of Forgery, perjury, and criminal conspiracy against Abure while the matter in Benin High Court bothers on Abure’s suspension from the ward.
“The resolution from the illegal NEC meeting conducted by Julius Abure on 18th April 2023 in Asaba, Delta State, is null and void, and all those purported suspended and expelled are voided.”