The Lamidi Apapa faction of the Labour Party (LP) asked that Peter Obi withdraw his petition before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT), claiming that Obi is not taking the matter seriously.
The group said that the incident at the Tribunal on Thursday, when the court resigned from hearing a suit brought by Obi and the Labour Party challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu, made the call urgent.
Speaking to media in Abuja on Friday, the party’s factional national publicity secretary, Abayomi Arabambi, insisted that since PEPT started meeting, Obi has been unable to offer any substantial proof to support these assertions.
He alleged that Obi went to court to challenge the victory of Tinubu because he (Obi) and his co-travellers had different intentions against the wishes of the Nigerian masses who freely offered their support to the Labour Party.
He stated: “We have followed with keen interest the shameful developments and approach by the so-called legal team assembled by Peter Obi challenging the outcome of the February 25 presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and we have, like many Nigerians, come to the conclusion that Obi is not only taking Nigerians for a ride but would continue to waste the hard-earned resources donated by Nigerians for this purpose to even enrich himself the more.
“Obi attempt to cage the sense of thinking of Nigerians by trickily obtaining money from them to fund the court process making them believe that there is something for him at the end of the day that must stop now.
“All of you here who have been following this case can recall that the day we had an altercation in court with Abure’s group, INEC announced that Peter Obi could not pay for CTC form EC08 and other documents to be for the election. That now compelled them to only present only thirty per cent of the materials they would need for the hearing at the Election Petition Tribunal.
“How would any right-thinking person go to an election tribunal with only thirty per cent of your documents where not of all them would be accepted or agreed to be tendered by other political parties?
“Three days ago, they said two of their counsels were sick and yesterday they could not even file a single process with the array of SAN with Obi. This is what we have been saying that they are just trying to hoodwink the public, deceiving the Obidients and giving them false hope that they have something at the tribunal.
“It’s evident from the attitude displayed by them when they wrote a letter to INEC that Obi could not pay N1.5 million. Who are they deceiving? Counsels were sick? Just two out of how many of them and they stalled a court process when time is already against our party. Yesterday, the court had to give them a stand down of ten minutes to file their process. They came back and they could not do anything. You heard what the court told them. They are wasting the time of the court and they are not serious.”
Arabambi while declaring that the court has confirmed the fear of the Apapa faction, said the faction had raised alarm from the onset and has now been vindicated.
“That’s why we have consistently maintained that Obi is not serious. He came into the party with nothing. He didn’t fund the election, he didn’t fund the party, and he didn’t do anything for the party. He only came to mess of the entire process and to deceive Nigerians that he has something to offer to them.
“Labour Party is thereby calling on him to step down his selfish ambition and stop messing up the party if he has nothing serious to present to the tribunal”, he added.
Speaking on fuel subsidy removal, Arabambi knocked the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) for rejecting the new pump price of petrol.
He insisted that the position of the Labour Party on the removal of fuel subsidy during the campaign has not changed, saying “We cannot reverse that position because it was not our candidate that won the presidential election.”
He added: “Whatever we have agreed on during our campaign, and as a party that promotes peace, equity and justice in Nigeria, then we can’t be found approbating and reprobating at the same time. Our Position is that, once Obi said he would remove fuel subsidy from his first day in office, the same organized labour who stood in that position must not be seen working in cross purpose on the same thing that Tinubu, Atiku and even Obi said they were going to do.
“Obi said Subsidy was an organized crime that must be stopped. NLC can’t call for any strike. If they do, it is obvious that they are just being mischievous for a reason best known to them or maybe they have something against the President that they should come out open to tell Nigerians. That is our position as Labour Party.”