“The Labour Party has been informed of an illegal attempt by a breakaway group in the party led by Lamidi Apapa to misguide a Kano State High court to invalidate all the elections won by the Labour Party in the just concluded general election.
“The suspended National Legal Adviser and a vital member of the disgraced Apapa group, Samuel Akingbade Oyelekan, on Wednesday while the Presidential Appeal 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 grounds that we didn’t submit register of voters to INEC,” the LP’s acting National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, alleged.
He added that Akingbade, who presented himself as representing the Labour Party, did not oppose the motion, thus forcing the judge to reserve judgement.
Ifoh asked the judiciary and all law enforcement agencies, including the police and the Department of State Services, DSS, to note that Akingbade and loyalists of Apapa’s had ceased to represent the party.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Yunusa Tanko, said court’s decision to invalidate the election of Otti as the next governor of Abia State will not stand.
In an exclusive interview with DAILY POST on Friday, May 19, Tanko said the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter.
He added that a rival party was responsible for the judgment and noted that the will of Abia State residents will stand.
“The judgment will not stand because the Federal High Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain an electoral matter. It is within the jurisdiction of the electoral tribunal. I believe this is the work of the opposition party. However, the will of the Abia people will stand,” Tanko told DAILY POST.
INEC declared Otti of the Labour Party (LP) as the winner of the governorship election in Abia State.
Otti emerged victorious in the March 18 Guber poll after beating his major rival, Okey Ahiwe of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
The LP candidate secured 175,467 votes, while Ahiwe got 88,529.
Enyinnaya Nwafor of the Young Peoples Party (YPP) scored 28,972 votes to finish third.
The Labour Party is currently enmeshed in a leadership crisis. The national chairman Abure and three other leaders of the party – the General Secretary, Farouk Ibrahim, the National Organising Secretary, Clement Ojukwu, and the Treasurer, Oluchi Opara – were suspended by an Abuja Federal High Court in April.
The court, presided by Justice Hamza Muazu, gave an ex parte order that the officials should remain suspended, pending the hearing and determination of a suit challenging their continued stay in office over allegations of corruption brought against them.
The plaintiff, James Onoja, alleged that the affected national officers had forged multiple documents from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, using them to perform unlawful substitutions during the 2023 general election.
Apapa’s declaration was vehemently rejected by the 36 state chairmen of the party, who declared their support for Abure as the party leader.
There are speculations that Apapa intends to withdraw the petition filed by LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi, against the election of APC’s Bola Tinubu. Apapa had summoned the lawyers representing Obi and the LP at the presidential election tribunal for a meeting.