The last has not been seen about the crisis rocking the labour party ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Calistus Okafor, factional chairman of the party , lays his current suit challenging the legitimacy of the leadership of the party is a “fight against injustice”.
Okafor made this known in an interview with journalists.
In a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1636/2021, Okafor is challenging the legality of the leadership of Julius Abure and Akingbade Oyelakin, which he said “represents persons wrongfully and unlawfully parading themselves as members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of Labour Party”.
Giving an update on the court case, Okafor said his decision to file the suit is in line with the provisions of the party’s constitution.
“I have read in the news media where Dr. Doyin Okupe was quoted to have said that I was demanding for N48m for the lawyers who have been representing me in court before I would withdraw my case against the Labour Party,” he was quoted as saying.
“I am however happy that he did not say that I have collected the said amount from anybody or group of people. I have also read the mischievous claim of a group that I had collected N15m draft to withdraw the case I instituted against the Labour Party. This is also not correct.
“I am fighting for my right, I’m fighting for justice. Peter Obi left the Peoples Democratic Party because of the injustice carried out against him there. If Peter Obi could dump the PDP for LP in order to get justice, he should consider the case of someone who is looking for justice.
Should Okafor be successful in his suit, it could terminate Obi’s candidature and create strong problems for the party.
Okafor, a factional leader of the party, in his suit is challenging the legality of the leadership of Akingbade Oyelakin, whom he said “represents persons wrongfully and unlawfully parading themselves as members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of Labour Party”.
He also joined the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as a co-defendant. Others sued by Okafor include Julius Abure and Umar Farouq who emerged as the national chairman and the secretary of the party, respectively, at a national executive committee meeting of the party held in Benin, Edo State, in March 2021.
The rest of the defendants sued by the defendants are members of the committee set up by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to take over the affairs of the party. The committee members are Salisu Mohammed, Lawson Osagie, Isa Aremu, Baba Aye, Ikpe Ektokudo, Sylvester Ejiofor, and Lucy Offiong. Sued along with them are one Salamatu Aliyu and the NLC.
He criticised the party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, stating that decided to defect to LP without proper information on the fact that the party’s leadership had been a subject of litigation since 2018.
Okafor claimed that he remained the authentic national chairman of the party. He explained that he got the post by virtue of his position as Deputy National Chairman of the party when the late national chairman, Abdulsalam, was in office. He added that Abure, who is currently leading a faction of the party, was Acting National Secretary, when Abdulsalam, died in 2020.
“Peter Obi, at the moment, has been deceived and he is sitting on a keg of gunpowder and it is a pity. He went to wolves in sheep clothing thinking he was discussing with the right people. Staying in the PDP would have been better for him.”
“The LP has not done any convention since 2014, after the last one it did in Akure, the Ondo State capital.”