The Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City, Edo State has upheld Barr. Julius Abure’s position as National Chairman of the Labour Party (LP). The Court’s unanimous decision was delivered by His Lordships Justice Theresa Ngolika Orji Abadua JCA, Fatima Omoro Akinbami JCA and Hon. Justice Sybil O. Nwaka-Gbagi JCA dismissed the appeal of the appellant, Lucky Shaibu and five others.
The legal dispute, with Ref No: Appeal No: CA/B/93/2023, of Mr. Lucky Shaibu v. Julius Abure & 5 ORS centred around Lucky Shaibu’s attempt to challenge Abure’s leadership within the party. Shaibu, who claimed to be a member of LP’s Ward 3 executive in Esan Northeast Local Government Area of Edo, played a pivotal role in the suspension of Abure from his position as the chairman of LP.
In a significant ruling, His Lordship Justice Abadua, delivering the lead judgment, endorsed the stance taken by the High Court of Edo State, Benin. The judgment underscored that an individual, like Shaibu, lacked the authority to unilaterally suspend the national chairman of LP, a position that aligns with Articles 13 and 17 of the party’s constitution and the prevailing Electoral Act of 2022. The court emphasized that Shaibu’s status within the party was questioned and described as “unknown.”
As a result of the court’s decision, the suspension imposed on Abure and all subsequent actions taken against him and the party as a result of that suspension were nullified.
The ruling reinstates Abure as the legitimate National Chairman of the Labour Party. Reacting to the court’s judgment, Julius Abure expressed his gratitude to the brave justices of the appellate court in Benin for upholding justice and fairness in the case. He also extended his appreciation to his legal team, led by G.C. Igbokwe, SAN, for their exemplary work.
G.C. Igbokwe described the court’s judgment as robust, courageous, and unassailable. He asserted that, in accordance with the judgment, Julius Abure continues to hold the position of the national chairman of LP until the party convenes its convention. This ruling brings clarity and resolution to the leadership dispute within the Labour Party, solidifying Julius Abure’s standing as its National Chairman.