Labour Party Crisis: Court orders substituted service against Peter Obi faction

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Peter Obi and Labour Party

Peter Obi and Labour Party

The presidential ambition of Peter Obi under the platform of the Labour Party hangs by a thread as a federal judge has ordered substituted service against some party officials loyal to the former Anambra governor.

Prior to the order, Calistus Okafor had on Monday filed an ex-parte application praying the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to declare him the lawful national chairman of the party and derecognise its current leaders. An ex-party application will ask a judge to grant an urgent order without necessarily hearing from the defendants or other parties in a matter.

Mr Okafor argued that the party’s purported leaders have frustrated every means to serve them the originating summons and interlocutory injunctions.

He also challenged the leadership of Akingbade Oyelakin, arguing that he “represents persons wrongfully and unlawfully parading themselves as members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of Labour Party”. Also joined as respondents were Julius Abure and Umar Farouq, saying both had purportedly claimed they were elected chairman and secretary, respectively, at a party conference in Benin in March 2021.

Justice Inyang Ekwo after hearing the matter ordered: “Substituted service of the originating summons, interlocutory injunction, and all other processes in this suit on the 1st to 3rd, 6th to 12th and 14th defendants by pasting the said processes at their political party’s office, which is the 5th defendant’s office, located  at No 2, Oke Agbe Street, Off Ladoke Akintola Boulevard, Garki 11, Abuja.”

The judge ordered that the summons must be filed within seven days before adjourning the matter till June 30 for further mention.

The internal crisis rocking the Labour Party poses a threat to Mr Obi who recently left the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) to pursue his presidential ambition. Mr Obi was not joined in the suit, but the tussle could imperil the faction that nominated him as a presidential candidate last week.

Mr Obi emerged unopposed, as his three co-aspirants, Pat Utomi, Faduri Joseph and Olubusola Emmanuel-Tella stepped down, pledging their support to him.

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