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Lamidi Apapa declares himself sole authority to endorse candidates for Labour Party elections



Lamidi Apapa, the incumbent national chairman of the Labour Party (LP), has declared that only the candidates he personally endorses will receive the party’s backing to contend in the upcoming governorship elections scheduled for November 11 in Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo states.

Apapa made this authoritative statement during a press briefing held in Abuja on Thursday.

He claimed that the Court of Appeal’s ruling in Owerri confirmed his position as the legitimate national chairman of the party.

The court had earlier sacked the Julius Abure-led faction and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise governorship candidates produced by Apapa’s faction for the election.

“You will recall that on the April 5 the FCT High court restrained Abure and others from parading themselves as national officers of the party,” Apapa said.

”As a result, the party appointed the Deputy National Chairman, Alhaji Lamidi Apapa, as the acting national chairman of the party pursuant to its constitution.

“Sequel to that the party under my leadership wrote to INEC changing its date of primary election earlier scheduled by Abure from April 15 to April 16. Notwithstanding the fact that he was under a restraining order, Abure still went ahead to conduct his primaries for Imo, Kogi and Bayelsa on those dates,” he added.

Apapa said on the other hand, his faction conducted primaries on April 16 making it two primaries conducted by the LP in the states.

“Peeved by the primary conducted by me, a candidate who participated in the Abure primary took my candidate to court whilst maintaining that Abure’s candidates were the authentic ones.

“The case was frantically defended, and the Federal High court, Owerri Division, declared the primaries conducted by me as the authentic candidate as Abure was under a restraining order as at the time he screened candidates and conducted his primaries,” he said.

Apapa said the Court of Appeal had also affirmed the judgment of the Federal High Court that Abure’s conduct was contemptuous as the factional chairman was under a restraining order when he conducted the said primaries.