The faction led by Lamidi Apapa of the Labour Party (LP) has reacted to the recent Federal High Court ruling in Kano that removed Alex Otti, the Governor-elect of Abia State, and invalidated all Labour Party candidates in Abia and Kano States in the recently concluded elections.
Bellnewsonline.com reports that the party faction blames Barrister Julius Abure, the embattled National Chairman of the Labour Party, for this predicament.
Abayomi Arabambi, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, issued a statement in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State, disclosing these developments to the press.
Arabambi revealed that Abure failed to timely submit the party’s registered members’ names in Kano and Abia States to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Arabambi emphasised that the party’s failure to submit its membership register to INEC within 30 days before the primaries rendered the entire process invalid.
He stated, “The truth is that Abure and his associates withheld these names and neglected to submit them to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in accordance with Section 72 of the Electoral Act, 2022 (as amended).”
“While other political parties’ National Chairmen and Secretaries were diligently fulfilling the requirements for submitting the names of registered members, Abure and his group were busy seeking candidates to manipulate and surreptitiously include their names in the party’s register, thereby bypassing those who won their respective primaries in certain parts of the country.”
“Today, our position has been vindicated after a Federal High Court in Kano, presided over by Justice M. N. Yunusa, nullified the candidacy of the Abia State Governor-elect, Dr. Alex Otti, and all Labour Party candidates in Abia and Kano States due to the Labour Party’s failure to comply with Section 72 of the Electoral Act 2022 (as Amended).”
Arabambi recalled that he had previously expressed concern over Abure’s actions, which were not in line with the provisions of the 2022 Electoral Act.
“The failure of the Labour Party to submit its membership register to INEC within 30 days before the primaries renders the entire process invalid.”
“If we fail to comply with the provisions of the electoral act, we cannot claim to have had candidates participating in the elections in the affected states.”
He challenged Abure to “come clean and explain to Nigerians and Labour Party supporters worldwide who he was working for at that time. Why would a leader of a political party, which had the strength of a hurricane, go into battle by deliberately setting up a group for the defeat of their own army?”
“Now is the time for truth, not politics. Who was Abure working for when he forged court documents and seals? Who was Abure working for when he deliberately withheld the names of these candidates from INEC at the appropriate time?”
“The unsuspecting members of the Obidient family must realize that the Court’s decision was a grand scheme by Abure to exploit the Labour Party’s fortunes solely for his own benefit and that of his immediate family.”
“Today, we are pleased to inform you that the FCT High Court has ordered the maintenance of the restraining order issued by the Court on April 5th, 2023, pending the Court’s judgement on the appeal.”
Arabambi warned that the judgement implies that all actions and decisions taken by Abure and his associates on behalf of the party, including the Asaba NEC meeting and all primaries conducted are null and void and of no consequence.