From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
On Wednesday, two opposing court rulings from two courts, one in Abuja and another in Benin, were issued against and in favour of Labour Party (LP) National Chairman Julius Abure and other suspended officials, giving the crisis roiling the party a new dimension.
In the most recent ruling, a State High Court sitting in Benin on Wednesday issued an injunction prohibiting the LP and all of its members from suspending its national officers until the move on notice was decided.
The earlier injunction ordered by an Abuja High Court on Wednesday prohibited Julius Abure, the Labour Party’s national chairman, Farouk Ibrahim, the party’s national secretary, and two other individuals from parading themselves as party officers.
Others stopped from parading themselves as National Officers are the National Organising Secretary, Clement Ojukwu and one other.
Justice Hamza Muazu issued the restraining order in Abuja while ruling in an ex parte application argued by Chief James Ogwu Onoja.
Onoja had in the application informed the court how the restrained national officers allegedly forged several documents of the FCT High Court to carry out unlawful substitutions in the last general elections. Among the documents were receipts, seals and affidavits of the court to carry out criminal activities.
In a brief ruling, 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 that the four should immediately stop parading themselves as national officers of LP.
In a twist, however, the State High Court sitting in Benin restrained the suspension of the affected LP members.
The court ruling read, “Coming up for hearing and determination before his Lordship the Honourable Justice E. O. Ahamioje (Judge) sitting in High Court 4, Benin City on Wednesday the 5 days of April 2023 in the absence of parties, the court having heard G.C. Igbokwe (SAN) with him. Dr PE Ayewoh Odiase, S.O. Igberease Esq., M.O. Ofondu Esq., and Mayor lyoha Esq., for the applicants, ordered as follows:
“Have carefully considered the motion exparte, the supporting affidavit, the affidavit of urgency, the Exhibits annexed thereto and the written argument of learned senior counsel. After a calm consideration, I am of the view that the applicants have made out a case for the grant of the order sought. Accordingly, hereby make an order of interim injunction restraining the 1 and 2 defendants from submitting and/or transmitting the purported notice of suspension signed by ward 3 executive of the Labour Party to the 3″ defendants for deliberation and or approval in respect of the subject matter of this suit pending the determination of the motion on notice. I further decree an order of interim injunction restraining the 3″ defendants from acting on, executing and/or implementing the purported notice of suspension issued by the 1 and 2 defendants over the subject matter of this suit pending the determination of the motion on notice. The enrolled order of this honourable court and the motion on notice shall be served on the defendants. The case is adjourned till 25/4/23 for the hearing of the motion on the motion on notice.”