The camp of President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Friday expressed satisfaction at the judgment of the FCT High Court over the leadership crisis in the Labour Party (LP).
Bayo Onanuga, immediate past Spokesperson of the Tinubu Presidential Campaign Council in a tweet stated, “Bashir Apapa, the man who controls Labour Party affairs by the order of the court, asks all LP lawyers to brief him about Peter Obi’s petition within 48 hours.
“The order will send chills down the spines of Obi and his lawyers as Apapa wants all cases withdrawn. Interesting times.”
But Julius Abure, embattled Labour Party National Chairman, in a statement said that despite the court judgment he remains the substantive chairman as the party would challenge the judgment over jurisdictional matters.
Abure’s who frowned at the insistence of the court to hear the matter despite preliminary objection by the defendant (LP), expressed hope that the Court of Appeal would quash the lower court’s decision on the suit.
The statement reads “We have obeyed the court restraining order and by today, the court gave a ruling, assuming jurisdiction.
“And for me, I am ready to go for an appeal. In the next few hours, we will be submitting our notice of appeal to the court and we will move all the matter from that court and take it to the court of Appeal.
“I believe that I will get justice in the Court of Appeal. I believe that the Labour Party will get justice in the court of Appeal. Because this same court in FCT in 2023 in the case of Sulieman v APC did the same thing and the Law Report decided by the Supreme Court made it very clear that the court has no jurisdiction over such matter.
“That is where we are standing and we believe that whatever the court has said today can’t stand before the court of Appeal.
“I believe that the court of Appeal will do the right thing and therefore all our papers will be filled today and by Monday the appeal will commence. And so I want to assure all our supporters, all our members that they should remain calm, I remain the National Chairman of the Labour Party.
“Labour party is a democratic institution and you don’t use a coup d’ tat to grab leadership, you don’t use the back door to take over the leadership of the party. That is what Apapa and co tried to do.
“Though we understand them because they have been paid by their paymasters, if you look at the statement they made today, they are talking about the tribunal.
“Whatever they say is about the tribunal, and it is no longer news that these disgruntled Labour Party members have been paid to truncate the cases in tribunal. They are only satisfying their paymasters and so we urge all our members to disregard them.
“We all know how to remove the National Chairman, and how a new one can be elected. So it is unfortunate that this group of people found themselves in the Labour Party. The time has come for us to separate the wheat from the chaff.
“The party was a small party and because we wanted to have numbers, we accommodated all forms of charlatans and dubious people into the party.
“These are people who didn’t offer anything to the party. Apapa scored zero in Oyo state in the Presidential election. Arabambi who is claiming to be the Publicity Secretary scored zero in Ogun state in the presidential election.
“They even supported other candidates from other parties. In Edo, I scored 79 percent of the votes in the presidential election. I ensured that APC and PDP did not get 25 percent in that election.
“In the governorship election and House of Assembly election, in spite of the dollars and harassment that were deployed by the PDP government, I am the only national chairman that won my ward.
“My performance as the national chairman of this party is in no doubt. I inherited a party that was in arrears of salary payment, a party that has no image and today I have made the party number one party in Nigeria.
“In this party, I have paid my dues. I have been here for 20 years building this party and today I challenge all other national chairmen of other parties, none of them have performed more than me and the records are clear.
“So for these hirelings to say they want to take over the party, we laugh at them. And I urge Nigerians to ignore them because whatever information they are getting from them is fake news.
“I want to reassure you that we are in control and I remain the national chairman. I assure you that we continue to provide leadership.
“Our cases in court, we will continue to defend them. Our House of Reps and senatorial cases, we will continue to defend to the end and our presidential election tribunal we will defend to the end. No amount of distraction will stop us from attaining our aspirations.
I listened to you clearly, you are dreaming for a new Nigeria, and I want to say it clearly, no one, no amount of intimidation, harassment, no amount of hundreds of Apapas can stop an idea whose time has come. Time has come for Nigeria to take back their country, the time has come for the Labour Party to take over the presidency of this country and nothing will stop us”.