The acting chairman of the Labour Party (LP), Lamidi Apapa has directed the party’s lawyers at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) sitting in Abuja to report to him.
Apapa issued this directive on Friday while he also said that he is now in charge of the Labour Party because a court affirmed his position as the acting chairman on the same day.
He also directed the party’s legal representatives in the presidential election tribunal to meet with him so as to brief him within 48 hours.
“I am so pleased that justice has taken place today because under normal circumstances, we will begin to doubt but today, we’re happy that the judge has acted broadly and reasonably,” Apapa said.
“There’s no doubt that I am now in charge. It has now been confirmed by the court that I have the right to be in charge until another order is taken place.
“As of today, I am the acting chairman of the party and anybody who parads himself apart from myself is acting illegally.
“And I want to tell the whole world that come next Friday, the real suit will start when the issues of forgery, conspiracy and so on and so forth will commence and from there, we will know if actually that offense has been committed or not.
“I want to use this opportunity once again to tell the whole world that the tribunal that is going on, I want to invite all the lawyers that are representing the Labour Party, that they should come for briefing.
“They should come and give me an update about what is happening in that tribunal within the next 48 hours, because right now, I am the person on the driver’s seat.
“And I am fully in charge, I am giving this opportunity for them to know that as the acting national chairman of the party, this is the order.”
A Federal capital Territory (FCT) high court on April 5 issued an order restraining Julius Abure from parading himself as the LP’s national chairman.
The party’s Secretary, Farouk Ibrahim, and two others were also stopped from acting as national officials.
Other party officials affected by the order include the National Organising Secretary, Clement Ojukwu, and the Treasurer, Oluchi Opara.
Following the order, Apapa, who was the deputy national of the LP (south), declared himself as the party’s national chairman.
Some LP state chairmen disowned Apapa who they described as a factional leader, throwing their weight behind Abure as the LP chairman.
The Apapa-led national executive committee (NEC) of the LP thereafter suspended Apapa for “anti-party activities, contravening the constitution of the party and running of parallel leadership and putting the party in total disrepute.