The Labour Party (LP) on Tuesday expressed concern over a move made by Lamidi Apapa, a self-described factional leader within the party, asking the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to dismiss all cases brought by his party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, challenging Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the election on February 25, 2023.
Obiora Ifoh, the LP’s acting national publicity secretary, pleaded with the Abuja tribunal to dismiss Apapa’s “antics” in a statement on Tuesday. Apapa is the party’s suspended Deputy National Chairman.
“We are by this statement informing all arms of judiciary, including the Tribunals and courts to ignore the ignoble antics of these compromised suspended members of the party. We are also calling on the police, DSS and EFCC to arrest these enemies of democracy,” he said in a statement posted on the party’s official website.
Ifoh claimed that Apapa and his fellow travelers are eager to appease their employers, who are determined to endanger Nigeria’s democracy.
“Approaching the tribunals to withdraw all the cases lodged by Labour Party candidates across board is the height of subterfuge and treachery, and Nigerians will resist this ploy to plunge the nation into unnecessary turmoil.
“Their actions show that they are working against the party and that they are working to destroy the party. If they claim that they have problem with the national leadership of the party, will they also claim that they have problem with the candidates of the party. What offence has the candidates of the party committed that they are now moving around to withdraw their matters from the tribunal.
“The leadership of the Labour Party is therefore calling on the tribunals to disregard any letter emanating from our suspended National Legal Adviser, Samuel Akingbade to the effect that all our cases are to be withdrawn.
“We are also calling on the presidential election tribunal to disregard such letters from these ex officials of our party asking for the withdrawal of HE Peter Obi’s petition,” the statement noted.
Following a new legal dispute within the party, Apapa formally proclaimed himself the LP national chairman earlier in April. Following this event, the state chairmen of the Labor Party in the 36 states that make up the federation disavowed the factional leadership and supported Julius Abure as the party’s head.
However, Apapa insisted that he is the party’s national leader as the court had suspended Abure and national officers. “Now, if that has happened, what else? The next person should take over,” he said on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
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