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Lamidi Apapa, Labour Party factional chairman, speaks out after court ruling

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Lamidi Apapa, the leader of a faction within the Labour Party (LP), has asserted that only candidates who receive his endorsement will be eligible to participate in the upcoming governorship elections in Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo on November 11th.

Speaking during a press conference held in Abuja on Thursday, Apapa emphasized that his position as the legitimate National Chairman of the party was validated by a recent Court of Appeal judgment in Owerri.

He pointed out that this judgment also resulted in the removal of the faction led by Julius Abure. Furthermore, the Court directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to acknowledge and accept governorship candidates nominated by his faction for the impending elections.

“You will recall that on the April 5 the FCT High court restrained Abure and others from parading themselves as national officers of the party.

“As a result, the party appointed the Deputy National Chairman Alhaji Lamidi Apapa as the acting national chairman of the party pursuant to its constitution.

“Sequel to that the party under my leadership wrote to INEC changing its date of primary election earlier scheduled by Abure from April 15 to April 16.

“Notwithstanding the fact that he was under a restraining order, Abure still went ahead to conduct his primaries for Imo, Kogi and Bayelsa on those dates,” he said.

Apapa said that on the other hand, his faction conducted primaries on April 16 making it two primaries conducted by the LP in the states.

“Peeved by the primary conducted by me , a candidate who participated in the Abure primary took my candidate to court whilst maintaining that Abure’s candidates were the authentic ones.

“The case was frantically defended, and the Federal High court, Owerri Division, declared the primaries conducted by me as the authentic candidate as Abure was under a restraining order as at the time he screened candidates and conducted his primaries,” he said.

Apapa said the court recognised him as the authentic Chairman of the party.

He said that dissatisfied with the FHC judgment, Abure’s candidates, including the winner of his primaries appealed against the judgment to the court of Appeal.

He said that the court of appeal had also affirmed the judgment of the Federal High Court that Abure’s conduct was contemptuous as he was under a restraining order when he conducted the said primaries.

“That restraining order is still in force even at the time this judgment was delivered,’’ he said.

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