**Says, it will not lose any sleep over a black market judgement
The leadership of the Labour Party has expressed dismay with the judgement entered against its party by a state high court in Kano that annulled the elections of its party members into various political offices across the 36 states of the federation.
The party through a statement by its acting National Publicity secretary, Obiora Ifoh took exception to the speed with which Justice M. N. Yunusa of Kano High Court discharged its duties as the appearance and judgement in the matter brought before it by suspended members of the party loyal to the former deputy National Chairman, Lamidi Apapa lasted only 48 hours.
The Court in Suit No FHC/KN/CS/107/2023 filed by Mr Ibrahim Haruna Ibrahim against the Labour Party and the Independent National Electoral Commission ruled that the failure of the Labour Party to submit its membership register to the Independent National electoral commission within 30 days before their primaries renders the process invalid.
It also ruled that the party having not complied with the provisions of the electoral act cannot be said to have a candidate in an election and cannot be declared winner of an election.
According to Ifoh, Labour party which is mentioned as a respondent was not aware of any suit against it in Kano state as the party was not served with any summons.
“The former National Legal Adviser Samuel Akingbade Oyelekan has since ceased from being an officer of the party and his appearance for the party is not with any authorization from the leadership of the party’s National Working Committee.
“You will recall that on Wednesday, we raised an alarm that suspended National Legal Adviser Samuel Akingbade Oyelekan, while the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal was sitting in Abuja with all attentions focused on it, clandestinely sneaked out of Abuja to Kano state where he in collaboration with some members of the other political parties asked the court to invalidate all the elections won by the Labour Party, particularly, the national assembly in the 36 states and FCT on the ground that the party didn’t submit register of voters to INEC.
“Akingbade who presented himself as representing the Labour Party, did not oppose the motion, thus forcing the helpless judge to reserve judgement for thursday.
“On hearing the evil agenda of Apapa’s plot, the party directed one of its counsels to appear on its behalf, an attempted that was rejected by the judge, who went ahead to give judgement against the party.
The statement described the judgement as not only inconsequential but also laughable and holds no water. It indicated that the court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain election matters at a time when elections have since been concluded and winners declared.
“The Kano Court is also not a tribunal which has the constitutional powers to entertain pre election matters.”
He explained further that the two respondents in the matter are Labour Party and INEC as no individual is mentioned in the matter and no court can grant any relief that is not sought for.
“So we lose no sleep on the black market judgement as we will soon direct our lawyers to approach the Appeal Court to vacate the ill conceived judgement.
“Labour party has repeatedly raised the alarm of the plots by the opposition parties to ensure that Labour Party is engulfed in crisis.
“Few weeks ago, we alerted Nigerians of plots to hijack the party and by extension, target all our cases in the tribunal. We have since produced evidences of the letters initiated by Akingbade to various tribunals asking for withdrawal of cases before them.
“For the upteempth time, Samuel Akingbade, Lamidi Apapa, Abayomi Arabambi and everyone in that camp have ceased to be representing Labour Party in whatever capacity and this statement serves as a disclaimer on them and for the information of Nigerians.
“Today at the At the FCT state High Court before Justice Hamza Muazu in a matter between Apapa’s group and Abure, the Judge among other things reprimanded Apapa camp for attempting to take over the leadership of the Labour party and constituting themselves into a nuisance.
Meanwhile, the Lamidi Apapa faction of Labour Party (LP) has asked party members to hold the suspended chairman of the party, Julius Abure, for the court judgement sacking Otti and other elected party candidates.
The factional National Publicity Secretary of the party, Abayomi Arabambi, expressed concern that the party is faced with imminent threat of losing its only governor-elect to Abure’s shady practice.