A’Court uphold Abure as National Chairman on Labour Party

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, has held that Julius Abure is the National Chairman of Labour Party, LP.

The appellate court reversed the judgment of Justice Hamza Muazu of the FCT High Court, Abuja, which following a suit by the Lamidi Apapa faction of the party, on May 13, 2023, barred Abure and some national officers from running the party.

The lower court had restrained Abure and three others, Farouk Ibrahim, Clement Ojukwu, and Oluchi Opara, from acting as national executives of the party.

The lower court suit marked CV/2930/2023 was brought by Martins John, Lucky Shaibu, Isah Zekeri, Omogbai Frank, Abokhaiu Aliu, Ayohkaire Lateef, John Elomah and Ayobami Arabambi.

Labour Party

The plaintiffs had told the court that the defendants forged several documents of the court to carry out unlawful substitutions in the last elections.

Abure through his lawyer, Alex Ejesieme, filed a preliminary objection against the suit, arguing that an allegation of forgery against his clients cannot be brought before the court by way of an originating summon.

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Ejesieme alleged that the plaintiffs were not members of the LP and therefore, lack the locus standi to institute the suit, adding that the matter borders on the internal issues of the party which the court cannot interfere with.

Justice Muazu held that the court has jurisdiction to hear the matter even though it relates to the party’s internal affairs, as there would have no need to interfere, had the party been at peace.

He added that the plaintiffs were right to have instituted the case by originating summons and subsequently restrained Abure and his executives from acting as national officers of the party.

Dissatisfied, Abure went on appeal, praying the appellate court to determine whether the lower court was right in the dismissal of his preliminary objection to his removal as National Chairman.

Delivering the lead judgment on Wednesday, Justice Hamma Barka, held that the appeal by Abure was meritorious and set aside the earlier judgment of the lower court.

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Justice Barka held that the process applied by the lower court was incompetent as it wrongly assumed jurisdiction over the case.

He said that issues bothering on forgery, perjury and conspiracy are unproven and deals with serious issues of fact, so the suit should not begin with an originating summon.

The judge also held that the lower court was wrong to interfere in the internal affairs of the political party.

“The party is in its own right Supreme over its affairs, the court will not enforce its own will over that of the political party,” Justice Barka held.

The court also held that no ward executive has the power to suspend a National officer of a political party dully elected by the National delegation, adding that such powers were exclusive to the national body.

Justice Barka, therefore, held that the appeal has merit and set aside the decision of the lower court.

The court also placed a fine of N1million on the respondents.

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