Kehinde Edun, the Labour Party’s Legal Adviser, has dismissed criminal claims filed against the party’s National Chairman Julius Abure as unjustified.
Lamidi Apapa, the party’s suspended Deputy National Chairman, and members of his camp have accused Abure and other party leaders of forgery and conspiracy, but Edun has refuted the claims, claiming that no charges have been brought against them.
“There is no charge; that is the truth. All these are noise. There is no charge against any leader of the party. No charge has been filed and you don’t try a criminal matter by originating summon. A criminal matter is tried by a charge being filed in court either by the police or someone who has the authority to file a charge in court and no charge has been filed.
“As of today, there is no charge against Abure, no charge against the National Secretary Umar Farouk, no charge against the National Treasurer Okpara,” Edun said on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday.
On Friday, an FCT High Court assumed jurisdiction in the suit filed by the National Publicity Secretary of the party loyal to Apapa, Yomi Arabambi, and seven others against Abure.
The suit is based on the order restraining Abure and Ibrahim; National Organising Secretary, Oluchi Opara; and National Treasurer, Clement Ojukwu, from parading themselves as leaders of the Labour Party.
At the hearing of the matter slated for ruling on preliminary objection on the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter, Justice Muazu Hamza, in a short ruling, held that the court had jurisdiction to hear the matter.
Not satisfied with the decision of the court, the LP Legal Adviser said the party has filed an appeal against the High Court ruling in the Court of Appeal.
“We believe that the court lacks power (to entertain the case), that is why we are appealing the ruling. We are dissatisfied with the decision of the court to say it has power. An appeal has been filed today; records will be transmitted next week – that is the process.
“Let the Court of Appeal look at it whether that court actually has the power to hear and determine this matter. Our opinion is that the court lacks power though the court has a contrary opinion. That is the opinion of the court, but we believe that opinion is wrong and we are challenging it,” Edun said.
The LP Legal Adviser alleged that Apapa and others with him are hirelings in the party paid by the opposition to cause distraction in the party.
“They are just creating problems, they are being paid, they are hired agents, they are hirelings,” he said.
He added the opposition is attacking the party because they have seen it has the potential of ending the old order.
“Those who are benefiting from the status quo, those who are benefiting from the old order are comfortable with it because they are enjoying it. But the masses of Nigeria have moved in an exodus and there is a momentum which they are afraid of.
“Why they are attacking the party now is because formerly, they didn’t take the party too seriously but they have seen what the party is doing and they now believe that, let us try to scuttle this momentum,” Edun posited.