Justice Hamza Muazu of an FCT high court sitting at Maitama has adjourned until May 12 the ruling in a preliminary objection suit filed by the embattled chairman of the Labour Party (LP), Julius Abure and one other.
They are challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain a matter filed by Martins Esikpali John; Lucky Shaibu; Isah Zekeri; Omogbai Frank; Abokhaiu Aliu; Ayohkaire Lateef; John Elomah and Dr Ayobami Arabambi.
The plaintiffs are seeking the removal of the four respondents through an ex-parte motion, marked M/7082/2023, brought before the court.
Justice Muazu adjourned the matter until May 12 after listening to the submissions of the counsel in the matter.
At the resumed hearing, Counsel for the 1st and 2nd respondents, Alex Ejesieme SAN, informed the court that he filed an application dated April 13.
He said the application is seeking to challenge the jurisdiction of the court to adjudicate in the matter brought before it by the claimants.
He told the court that the plaintiffs invaded LP’s secretariat and vandalized it against the court order.
Ejesieme told the court that since the order was made that his clients have not violated it.
He said he filed a 13-grounds objection urging the court to dismiss the suit.
” Our contention is very clear that those criminal allegations can not be ventilated in an origination summon.
“The issue of locus standi is there when you refer to LP’s constitution, the claimants are not members of NEC nor the party.
“They have a duty to present their membership card to the court which they didn’t.
He added that no certificate of pre-action was filed before the court in fulfilment of order II rules three and eight and that the matter borders on the internal issue of the party according to him.
Counsel for the claimants, George Ibrahim, told the court that the 1st to 4th defendants had yet to obey the April 5 order of the court.
He added that they were still parading themselves as national officers of the LP.
Ibrahim vehemently objected to the preliminary objections of the 1st & 2nd counsel and urged the court to dismiss the preliminary objection.
Justice Muazu had on April 5 issued the restraining order while ruling in the ex-parte application argued by Ogwu Onoja, SAN on behalf of the claimants.
Onoja had in the application informed the court how the sacked national officers allegedly forged several documents of the FCT High Court to carry out unlawful substitutions in the last general elections.
Among the documents are the receipts, seal and affidavits of the Court to carry out alleged criminal activities.
Onoja tendered several documents confirming to the Judge that the Chief Registrar of the Court wrote the Labour Party to disown several documents used for the alleged criminal activities by Abure and three others.
Onoja said following their indictment by a Police investigation, the four people are to be arraigned in court adding that warrants for their arrest have already been obtained.
Justice Muazu held that the application and the supporting affidavits have made out a good case for the request to be granted.
The Judge subsequently ordered the four officers to immediately stop parading themselves as National Officers of the Labour Party.
The other respondents are the National Secretary, Alhaji Farouk Ibrahim, Clement Ojukwu and Oluchi Opara.