Apapa Camp Describes Court Judgment Restraining Faction as Mockery, Reveals Next Line of Action

Labour Party’s Factional National Chairman, Lamidi Apapa, has opposed the recent ruling by an Edo State High Court, which allegedly reinstated his rival, Julius Abure, as the party’s substantive national chairman.

POLITICS NIGERIA reports that Justice Emmanuel Okey Aihamoje, presiding over the Edo State High Court, dismissed on Friday the suspension notice issued against Barrister Julius Abure by some members of his Ward 3 Executives in Esan North East local government area of the state.

This newspaper learnt that Abure and several other ward executives had filed the legal action.

In his judgment, Justice Aihamoje stated that the Ward 3 executive of the Labour Party lacked the authority, according to the LP constitution (specifically Articles 17 & 19) and the amended Electoral Act of 2022, to remove the party’s national chairman.

However, Dr Abayomi Arabambi, the National Publicity Secretary of the Apapa faction, expressed his disagreement during a visit to the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) FCT Council Secretariat.

Arabambi contended that the lower court cannot litigate a matter pending before the Court of Appeal and described the celebration of the judgment as a mockery.

“Our lawyers have filed a motion for a stay of execution of the judgment of the Edo State High Court,” Arabambi declared.

He further criticised the opposing faction for engaging in forum shopping but said they would not petition the NJC (National Judicial Council).

Arabambi emphasised that the Labour Party would not dignify the “beer parlour response” filled with falsehoods and distortions of facts. He referred to the opposing faction as political buccaneers, scavengers, and jobbers, highlighting their ignorance and lack of intelligence.

Arabambi clarified that while the Edo State High Court’s judgment reinstated Abure’s membership in the party, it did not grant him the authority to act as a national officer.

He highlighted that Abure remained restrained from such activities and had also been suspended by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) during a meeting held in Bauchi on May 3, 2023.

Arabambi explained that the NEC’s suspension, based on their powers under Article 13(2)(b)(Iv) of the Labour Party Constitution, rendered the recent judgment of the Edo State High Court inconsequential.

He emphasised that the restraining order from the FCT High Court, which was still in effect, further limited Abure’s actions. Thus, according to him, Abure’s suspension by the NEC and the ongoing appeal filed against the FCT High Court’s decision made the Edo State High Court judgment a mere academic exercise.

Arabambi highlighted that the appeal against the FCT High Court’s ruling was already in progress, with Mr. Allex Ijetieme SAN leading the case.

He questioned the legitimacy of any junior court adjudicating on a matter before the Court of Appeal, asserting that it was not possible until the appeal court decided otherwise.

He dismissed the Edo State High Court judgment as futile and null and void, as the subject matter was already under appeal at the Court of Appeal in Abuja.

“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 appea 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.

“The question begging for an answer is when a matter is before a Court of Appeal, can any junior court sit or adjudicate on such matter again until when the appeal court decide other wise? The answer is in the 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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