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Appeal Court Reshapes Labor Party Leadership: Apapa Emerges as National Chairman, Abure Sacked

Court of Appeal Decree in Favor of Apapa-Led NWC’s Governorship Candidates RecognitionIn a significant legal development, the Court of Appeal located in Owerri, Imo State, rendered a landmark decision on Thursday, resulting in the removal of Julius Abure from his post and the formal acknowledgment of Lamido Apapa as the rightful National Chairman of the Labour Party.Central to this ruling is the directive issued to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) mandating the immediate recognition and public disclosure of the governorship nominees endorsed by the Apapa-led National Working Committee across key states, namely Imo, Bayelsa, and Kogi.In a corresponding decision, the court invalidated the gubernatorial candidacy of Senator Athan Achonu from Imo State, along with others aligned with the Abure-led LP faction.The origins of this legal battle trace back to April when Apapa contested his suspension from party membership, affirming the nullity of the action and asserting his continued authority as the “legitimate acting chairman.”Notably, an earlier report by The PUNCH on August 14 confirmed, at the time, that a separate Court of Appeal proceeding held in Benin City, Edo State, upheld Abure’s status as the National Chairman of the Labour Party. This affirmation was conveyed through a statement released by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh.Building on this, a precedent-setting ruling had emerged on May 26, as The PUNCH had reported, where a State High Court based in Edo dismissed the suspension notice served to Abure by certain party members operating at the ward level. The decision was grounded in the court’s determination that the case lacked substantiated merit, as conveyed by Justice Emmanuel Aihamoje.The reverberations of the Court of Appeal’s recent judgment in favor of the Apapa-led National Working Committee’s prerogative over governorship candidate recognition are poised to reshape the political landscape in the affected states, imbuing the Labour Party’s internal dynamics with renewed momentum.


Ademola Adeyemi

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