The Labour Party (LP) says it is “horrified” over the Kano State High Court judgment that annulled the elections of its candidates into various political offices across the 36 states of the Federation.
The party leadership said it was even more concerned with the “haste” with which the presiding judge, Justice M N Yunusa, discharged its duties as the appearance and judgement in the matter brought before the court by suspended members of the party loyal to the former deputy National Chairman, Lamidi Apapa, lasted only 48 hours.
The Court in Suit No FHC/KN/CS/107/2023, filed by Mr. Ibrahim Haruna Ibrahim against LP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ruled that the failure of the party to submit its membership register to the INEC within 30 days before their primaries renders the process invalid.
It also ruled that the party having not complied with the provisions of the Electoral Act cannot be said to have a candidate in an election and cannot be declared winner of an election.
Reacting to this, LP’s Acting National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, in a press statement on Friday, said that the party, which is mentioned as a respondent, was not aware of any suit against it in Kano State as the party was not served with any summons.
He stressed that the former National Legal Adviser Samuel Akingbade Oyelekan has since ceased from being an officer of the party and his appearance for the party in the court case was not authorized by the party’s National Working Committee.
Ifoh also recalled that the LP had warned the public about plot to clandestinely get the court to invalidate all the elections won by the Labour Party candidates.
According to Ifoh: “Akingbade who presented himself as representing the Labour Party, did not oppose the motion, thus forcing the helpless judge to reserve judgement for Thursday.
“On hearing the evil agenda of Apapa’s plot, the party directed one of its counsels to appear on its behalf, an attempted that was rejected by the judge, who went ahead to give judgement against the party.
“The judgement is not only inconsequential but also laughable and holds no water. The court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain an election matters at a time when elections have since been concluded and winners emerged.
“The Kano Court is also not a tribunal which has the constitutional powers to entertain pre election matters.
“The two respondents in the matter are Labour Party and INEC. No individual is mentioned in the matter and no court can grant any relief that is not sought for. So we lose no sleep on the black market judgement as we will soon direct our lawyers to approach the Appeal Court to vacate the ill conceived judgement.
“Labour party has repeatedly raised the alarm of the plots by the opposition parties to ensure that Labour Party is engulfed in crisis. Few weeks ago, we alerted Nigerians of plots to hijack the party and by extension, target all our cases in the tribunal.
“We have since produced evidences of the letters initiated by Akingbade to various tribunals asking for withdrawal of cases before them.
“For the umpteenth time, Samuel Akingbade, Lamidi Apapa, Abayomi Arabambi and everyone in that camp have ceased to be representing Labour Party in whatever capacity and statement serves as a disclaimer on them and for the information of Nigerians.
“Today at the at the FCT State High Court before Justice Hamza Muazu in a matter between Apapa’s group and Abure, the Judge among other things reprimanded Apapa camp for attempting to take over the leadership of the Labour party and constituting themselves into a nuisance.”