Lamidi Apapa Appeals Judgement Affirming Abure as National Chairman

The leadership dispute within the opposition Labour Party (LP) continues as Lamidi Apapa has appealed to the Supreme Court against the Court of Appeal’s decision reinstating Julius Abure as the national chairman of the party. Abayomi Arabambi, the national publicity secretary of the faction loyal to Apapa, revealed this development during a press briefing in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, on Sunday.

Arabambi stated that the party had secured a stay-of-execution motion concerning the Court of Appeal’s judgment. The Appeal Court in Abuja had ruled on March 6, reinstating Julius Abure as the national chairman of the Labour Party. The court deemed the High Court’s decision to restrain Abure from acting as the national chairman as an error in jurisdiction, dismissing the case entirely and imposing a fine of N1 million against Apapa.

However, Arabambi contested the Appeal Court’s ruling, asserting that the matter was purely an internal party issue. He announced that the party had lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court and had obtained a stay of execution order pending the resolution of the appeal. This move indicates Apapa’s determination to challenge the reinstatement of Julius Abure as the national chairman of the Labour Party.

He said: “The acting national chairman of the Labour Party Alh Bashiru Lamidi Apapa has successfully filed an appeal on the 6th day of March 2024 and has stayed the execution of the Judgement delivered in favour of Julius Abure by Abuja Court of Appeal in the supreme court through a motion for stay of execution filed on Thursday the 7th day of March 2024.”

Arabambi also alleged that “Julius Abure had earlier before today forge the seal of the judge of FCT, forge the commissioner of Oath signatures and Generated his own TSA receipts without payment to the Federal Government consequently upon which the police established a prima facie case against him for forgery, criminal conspiracies and perjury.

“You would also recalled that sometime on the 12th May 2023, the FCT High Court presided by Hon. Justice Hamza Mua’zu dismissed the Notice of Preliminary Objection filed by Abure and ors challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the Originating Summons filed by Martins Esikpali & Ors basically on the ground that there was an allegation of crime and that it’s a contentious issue in the said summons and as such, not suitable for Originating Summons which inherently meant that the case ought to have been commenced by Writ of Summons so that oral evidence can be taken.”

“As stated earlier the said objection was dismissed as the court held that it has jurisdictions as the case has to do with construction of documents submitted before it simpliciter without more.

“Abure and 3 others then appealed to the Court of Appeal. Therefore, the issue before the Court of Appeal was whether the issues raised in the case were contentious or not. If the court says the case was contentious, all that the Court was required to do was to ask parties to convert the Originating Summons to a Writ of Summons and order parties to file pleadings so that the case can be heard on the merits at the trial court i.e, FCT High Court.”

“Surprisingly, the court of appeal in a rather strange manner, went on the voyage of discovery totally out of context to deliver judgment touching on the substantive case as if the appeal was against a final judgment.”

Arabambi described the said appeal court judgment as “perverse” and said he has appealed immediately to the Supreme Court on five grounds and more grounds will be filled once the CTC of judgment is obtained by the lawyers.

He added: “The Judgment of the court of appeal delivered on Wednesday 6th day of March has now been put on hold as it cannot be executed since the Motion for stay of execution is already before the Supreme Court and has been served on Abure and his lawyers.”