HomePoliticsTinubu’s Minister Fuelling Crisis In Our Party, LP Alleges

Tinubu’s Minister Fuelling Crisis In Our Party, LP Alleges

The leadership of the Labour Party has accused Nkiruka Onyejeocha, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, of forming an alliance with the Lamidi Apapa faction to stir a crisis in the party.

This development comes barely one week after two lawyers claiming to represent the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) turned up at the Court of Appeal in Lagos.

On February 28, the commission declared Labour Party candidate Amobi Ogah the winner of the Isiukwuato Umunneochi Federal Constituency election with 11,769 votes, as against Onyejeocha, who bagged 8,752.

A National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, however, nullified the election of Amobi Ogah.

A three-member panel of the tribunal, delivering judgment in the petition tagged EPT/AB/HR/8/2023 in Umuahia, ruled that Ogah did not obey the provisions of the Electoral Act.

Ogah argued that Onyejeocha’s acceptance of the ministerial appointment as minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FCT) was a clear sign that she had abandoned her petition.

But the tribunal dismissed the submission of the legislator in its ruling.

Confusion, however, arose on Thursday when two lawyers showed up, each with a letter of authority to speak on behalf of the commission, after the case came up for hearing in Lagos, forcing the adjournment of the hearing.

Addressing journalists on Wednesday at the party secretariat in Abuja, Kennedy Ahanotu, LP National Youth Leader, stated they had intelligence that the minister and the LP faction were behind the drama.

Ahanotu, who was flanked at the conference by Obiora Ifoh, the National Publicity Secretary, and Kehinde Edun, the National Legal Adviser, further alleged they had no doubt she was working in alliance with some expelled members of the party.

He said, “The leadership of the Labour Party wishes to inform Nigerians on yet an unholy alliance between the Minister of State for Labour, Nkiruka Onyejeocha, and some expelled members of our party led by Chief Lamidi Apapa, whose purpose is to ensure that crisis is sustained perpetually in our party.”

Explaining what led to the confusion that saw two legal counsels show up at the Court of Appeal last week, he said that they suspected foul play when the commission failed to deliver the letter it wrote to the firm of the first lawyer, Yunus Ustaz Usman (SAN), to disengage from the case.

The member of the Labour Party National Working Committee also noted that though the legal firm of J. O. Asoluka was meant to officially take over, the letter was allegedly deliberately delayed to frustrate Ogar’s appeal case.

“The desperation by lawyers from the firm of Yunus Ustaz Usman to insist on representing INEC, even when the firm had already written to INEC withdrawing its services, stoked our curiosity. But the embarrassed Usman has completely distanced himself from the action.

“On further investigation, we realized that INEC failed to release this letter written on the 17th by the firm of Yunus Ustaz Usman (SAN) withdrawing from the case. The letter only surfaced after the unfortunate incident at the Appeal Court. So we are wondering if there was any threat from high places against officials of the INEC preventing them from making the letter public,” he stated.

Reacting via a statement, Gabriel Emameh, Special Adviser on Media to the Minister, advised the Labour Party to focus on resolving its internal crisis and leave the minister alone.

While describing the allegation as a hatchet job, Emameh said that a high-ranking former federal legislator who has been in the business of making laws for the nation for 16 years would not stoop so low to have anything to do with the opposition party.



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