The Labour Party (LP) has dismissed the reports making the rounds that Lamidi Apapa has been recognised as the authentic national chairman of the party.
Some media reports had claimed Apapa was recognised by the Appeal Court sitting in Owerri, the Imo state capital.
But, Obiora Ifo, the national publicity secretary of the LP, described the reports as fake news.
He said in a statement:
”It is another devastating blow for the Lamidi Apapa-led dissident group as the Court of Appeal Owerri, sitting in Abuja today, Thursday, August 24, 2023, dismissed the appeal filed by one Mr Basil Maduka, who is contending for the Labour Party governorship candidacy for Imo state.
”The court further held that the appeal by the Labour Party was not necessary as the decision of the trial court was in its favour and that mere comments of the trial judge in the matter was NOT A JUDGEMENT and should be discountenanced. Labour Party had asked the Court of Appeal to quash the comments of the trial court in the Federal High Court Owerri.
”Labour Party also told the court that Senator Athan Achonu won the party’s primaries. The attention-seeking camp of Lamidi Apapa had earlier today, as usual, misinformed the public by twisting the clear judgement of the appellate court.
”It is therefore important to state that neither the Federal High Court Owerri nor the Court of Appeal Owerri, which sat in Abuja today, made any orders in the matter other than for lack of locus standi against the plaintiff (Basil Maduka).
”Consequently, the status quo remains with Senator Athan Achonu as the validly nominated candidate of the Labour Party for the 2023 Imo governorship election.
”With this Court of Appeal judgment and the endorsement of Senator Achonu by our national leader Peter Obi, Abia State Governor Alex Otti, the Labour Party National Chairman Julius Abure and other stakeholders and party members, the dust has settled on the gubernatorial ticket issue.
”Achonu has received the governorship flag of the party and has since flagged off his campaign with a well-attended ceremony in Owerri on Tuesday.”
He noted that Julius Abure had lately been confirmed as the National Chairman of the LP by the Court of Appeal, which had its Benin City location.
According to Articles 13 and 17 of the Party’s Constitution as well as the current Election Act of 2022, he claimed that the appeal court upheld the fact that one person could not suspend the National Chairman of the LP.
“We are therefore calling on the Labour Party members, Obidient faithful and the general public to distance themselves from these falling and compromised members of the party who have since been shoved out of the party,” he added.