The National Working Committee of the Labour Party in Imo State has said there is no gang-up that would truncate their victory in the forthcoming governorship election in November.
National Secretary of the Party, Umar Farouk, said, “We await victory at the November 11 polls, and no gang up by some desperate politicians can stop an idea whose time has come.”
He gave this assurance at a press conference held at the National Secretariat of the party in Abuja, according to Tribune.
Farouk was flanked by the National Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party LP), Pastor Obiora Ifoh, Deputy National Chairman of the Labour Party, Dr. Ayo Olorunfemi, and the National Legal Adviser Barr Kehinde Edun stated that the party would not be misled into matters that would derail her pursuit of the Imo State campaign.
The National scribe of the party said, “In order to ensure a subjugation of the Labour Party, the ruling party has deployed all manner of strategies to stifle the party, part of which was to sponsor insurrection amongst some suspended former members of the party, Lamidi Apapa and a few others. Their assignment was to ensure that no progress was achieved in the party.
“The heavily funded dissidents have tried to mislead the courts and some sections of the media to harass the party leadership, but all have failed. Only recently, the Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City affirmed Julius Abure as the National Chairman of the Labour Party (LP).
“Only yesterday, the Court of Appeal Owerri, which sat in Abuja, while giving judgement in the case brought before it by one Basil Maduka, one of the two aspirants that were deceived by the Apapa camp to participate in their illegal primaries, also ordered that the status quo remains with Senator Athan Achonu as the validly nominated candidate of Labour Party for 2023 Imo governorship election.
“It noted that Basil Maduka has no locus to seek redress in the court as he is not known by the Labour Party.
“For emphasis, you may recall that the Apapa group had hoodwinked and arranged governorship primaries for two Labor Party members, Chief Ukaegbu Ikechukwu and Sir Maduka, after which Ukaegbu won the contest.
“Maduka was piqued by the outcome of the fake primaries and had gone ahead to challenge the emergence of Ukaegbu. He sued both Ukaegbu and the “Labour Party.”
“Neither the authentic Labour Party led by Barrister Julius Abure nor its candidate Senator Athan Achonu was put on notice and were not aware of the situation.
“The case was decided on behalf of Ukaegbu against Maduka. The matter has nothing to do with the leadership of the party or the candidacy of Senator Achonu, a product of properly conducted primaries by Abure-led NWC.
“Apparently, Chief Ukaegbu Ikechukwu mischievously misinterpreted the judgment of the said Federal High Court delivered on the 23rd June 2023 by His Lordship, Hon Justice BO Quadirin Suit No FHC/OW/CS/28/2023, wherein it categorically held that from the totality of all the considered argument and authorities “the plaintiff Sir Basil Maduka does not fall within the definition of an aspirant as it never participated in the process leading to the primary election nor took part in the primary election of the 1st Defendant LP.”
The party said the report that Apapa-led NWC was confirmed authentic leader by the judgEment of the Imo Appeal Court, which sat in Abuja, was misleading.
He said the matters leading to this judgment was a clear explanation of the matter and in putting the record straight, “With this judgment, the pro-Apapa choice, Chief Ukaegbu had gone to town declaring himself as the Labour Party candidate for the Imo governorship election.
“For emphasis, the court never pronounced him as the candidate of the Labour Party. No court has given judgement de-recognising Barrister Abure as the National Chairman of the Labour Party up till today.
Meanwhile, the Labour Party appealed the Bayelsa court ruling on the ground that it lacks the jurisdiction to entertain a suit filed by the Apapa camp without putting the leadership of the party, which is known to law, into notice.
“Senator Achonu, who was also not a party to the suit filed by Sir Maduka but sought to be joined as an interested party on hearing about the matter before the Federal High Court.
“However, the Court of Appeal re-emphasized the implication of lack of jurisdiction in a Motion for leave to appeal as an interested party and held that the Motion was filed out of time hence, it lacked jurisdiction.
“To our greatest surprise, Chief Ukaegbu Ikechukwu and his cohorts flooded the social media with yet another propaganda and falsehood that the Court of Appeal has declared him the candidate of the Labour Party, in a matter he was neither the Plaintiff nor Appellant.
“He also falsely and mischievously interpreted the judgement that Abure was no longer the National Chairman of the Labour Party.
“Yesterday’s judgment laid to rest all those mischiefs as it reaffirmed the earlier judgment that Chief Basil Maduka is just a meddlesome interloper.
“The Appeal Court in Edo has since ruled that Abure is the authentic chairman of the Labour Party and everything done under his leadership, including nominating candidates for elections, is legal.
“It thus means that whoever is not satisfied with the ruling of the Appeal Court is permitted under the law to approach the Supreme Court to seek a review of the Appeal Court judgement.
“We took time to explain this trajectory because these men are out to ensure that the Labour Party suffers immeasurably, and they will stop at nothing from achieving the mandate of their sponsors,” Farouk stated.