The Labour Party (LP) on Tuesday raised the alarm over an action taken by a self-acclaimed factional chairman of the party, Lamidi Apapa, asking the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to dismiss all cases by his party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi against the victory of Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 25, 2023 election.
LP acting National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, in a statement on Tuesday, urged the Tribunal in Abuja to disregard the “antics” by Apapa, who is a suspended Deputy National Chairman of the Labour Party.
“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.
Ifoh, who later spoke on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme, monitored by IgbereTV, on Tuesday, alleged that Apapa is seeking to jeopardise Obi’s victory with his action.
Ifoh said Apapa and his co-travellers are desperate to satisfy their pay masters who are bent on threatening 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letter emanating from our suspended National Legal Adviser, Samuel Akingbade to the effect that all our cases are to be withdrawn.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.
Earlier in April, Apapa declared himself as the LP national chairman following a fresh legal battle in the party. In the wake of the development, Labour Party state chairmen in the 36 states of the federation disowned the factional leadership, throwing its weight behind Julius Abure as the party’s leader.
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.