Benin City, August 14, 2023 – In a significant legal development, the Court of Appeal in Benin City has upheld Julius Abure’s position as the National Chairman of the Labour Party. This affirmation comes after a series of legal battles and controversies surrounding Abure’s leadership within the party.
The announcement of this verdict was made by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, in a statement released on Monday in Abuja. The decision was rendered by a three-member panel of the appellate court, which dismissed a lawsuit brought by Mr. Lucky Shaibu against Abure and three other members of the Labour Party’s national executive committee.
The origins of this dispute trace back to March, when Lucky Shaibu and fellow members of the Labour Party executive committee in Ward 3, Esan North East local government area of Edo State, suspended Abure from his role as the party’s chairman. Subsequently, Justice Hamza Muazu of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court issued an order on April 5 restraining Abure and three others from holding themselves out as national officers of the party. This ruling was prompted by an application filed by Shaibu and other party members, listing affected officers as the LP National Secretary, Alhaji Farouk Ibrahim, National Organizing Secretary, Mr. Clement Ojukwu, and one other.
However, Justice Muazu later granted an order of stay execution on Abure’s suspension in a subsequent ruling on May 19. The Edo State High Court concurred with this decision in a judgment issued on May 28, declaring Abure as the authentic national chairman of the Labour Party.
During the recent proceedings, the Court of Appeal echoed the sentiments of the Edo State High Court, underscoring that the suspension of the LP national chairman cannot be executed unilaterally. This stance was based on the provisions outlined in Articles 13 and 17 of the Party’s Constitution, as well as the prevailing Electoral Act of 2022.
This decisive ruling puts an end to the protracted legal battles surrounding Julius Abure’s leadership as the National Chairman of the Labour Party, providing a definitive resolution to the discord that had ensnared the party in recent months.