Court halts proceedings in LP leadership tussle

A FEDERAL Capital Territory (FCT) High Court has stayed proceedings on the lawsuit brought by some aggrieved members of the Labour Party (LP) against the national chairman Julius Abure and three other national officers.

At the resumed hearing on Friday, May 19, the presiding judge, Justice Muazu Hamza, ruled that the court will stay further proceedings on the matter until the determination of the appeal filed by the Abure faction at the Court of Appeal.

Justice Hamza stated that though the high court is not bound to stay its injunction based on a notice of appeal filed at the Court of Appeal, the proceedings will be halted pending the determination of the appeal.

The judge therefore stayed the matter pending the outcome of the appeal filed by Abure.

Addressing journalists after the court session, the lawyer representing Abure and the other LP national officers, Ben Chuks Nwosu, said because they were not satisfied with the court assuming jurisdiction, they filed an appeal and the judge decided to respect the hierarchy of the court and stayed the matter.

“What happened was following the ex parte application, we raised a preliminary objection on the jurisdiction; of course, His Lordship thought fit to assume jurisdiction. Dissatisfied, we filed an appeal against the assumption of that jurisdiction. 

“This morning, we were able to convince His Lordship that there is a cogent and pending appeal before the Court of Appeal and in deference to the hierarchy of court, His Lordship decided to stay proceedings before him pending the application for stay at the Court of Appeal.”

Also speaking to journalists, the counsel to the aggrieved LP members, Monday Mawah, said the court has not removed the restraining orders on Abure and the other national officers.

Mawah said, “The judge, for those of you that were inside the court, made it expressly clear, contrary to the false allegation, false rumour, false news they are parading out there, that the order of the court has been set aside. 

“The court has made it clear today that the order it made on the 5th of April restraining Abure and four others that the order still subsists. That anyone disobeying that order is on his own.”

He maintained that Abure and other officers remain restrained, noting that a stay of proceedings is different from a stay of execution.

The ICIR  reported that on May 12, the FCT High Court assumed jurisdiction in the lawsuit brought by some aggrieved members of the Labour Party against Abure, the suspended national chairman and three other national officers.

Ruling on the preliminary objection filed by Abure and the others to challenge the court’s jurisdiction to hear the matter, Justice Muazu Hamza held that the court has jurisdiction to hear the case.

Justice Hamza added that the plaintiffs are correct in bringing the matter by originating summons.



    He then adjourned the case to May 19 for a hearing of the substantive suit. 

    However, on Thursday, May 18, Abure resumed his position as the party’s national chairman.

    At a World Press Conference at the Party headquarters on Thursday, Abure said his position as the leader of the party had been restored because he filed a notice of appeal at the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal.

    Abure and three other leaders of the party – the General Secretary, Farouk Ibrahim, National Organising Secretary, Clement Ojukwu, and the Treasurer, Oluchi Opara – were barred from parading themselves as Labour Party national officers by an Abuja Federal High Court in April.

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