Only candidates endorsed by Lamidi Apapa, the Labour Party (LP) splinter leader, will be allowed to run in the governorship elections in Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo on November 11.
Apapa stated this at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday, claiming that the Court of Appeal’s decision in Owerri had recognized him as the party’s legitimate National Chairman.
The court also sacked the Julius Abure-led faction and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognize governorship candidates created by his faction for the election, he claimed.
“You may recall that on April 5, the FCT High Court barred Abure and others from posing as national officers of the party.”
“As a result, the party appointed Deputy National Chairman Alhaji Lamidi Apapa as acting national chairman in accordance with the party’s constitution.”
“In response, the party under my leadership wrote to INEC, changing the date of its primary election from April 15 to April 16, as previously scheduled by Abure.”
“Despite the fact that he was under a restraining order, Abure went ahead and held primaries in Imo, Kogi, and Bayelsa on those dates,” he claimed.
Apapa, on the other hand, stated that his side held primaries on April 16, making it two primaries held by the LP in the states.
“Angry at my primary, a candidate who participated in the Abure primary took my candidate to court, claiming that Abure’s candidates were the genuine ones.”
“The case was frantically defended, and the Federal High Court, Owerri Division, declared the primaries conducted by me as the authentic candidate because Abure was under restraining order at the time he screened candidates and conducted his primaries,” he explained.
Apapa stated that the court recognized him as the legitimate Chairman of the party.
He stated that, unsatisfied with the FHC decision, Abure’s candidates, including the winner of his primaries, filed an appeal with the Court of Appeal.
He said that the court of appeals had also upheld the Federal High Court’s ruling that Abure’s conduct was disrespectful because he was subject to a restraining order at the time of the primaries.
“That restraining order was still in effect at the time this judgment was delivered,” he explained.