Julius Abure, Labour Party

Labour Party raises alarm over ‘suspicious’ sacking of own lawmakers by election tribunals

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Labour Party has condemned the spate of sackings of its lawmakers by the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunals across the country in recent days.

Julius Abure, Labour Party

The tribunals have removed over six members of the Labour Party representing their constituencies at the Senate and House of Representatives, though some have also won their cases, while new occupants from the party have also emerged.

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Enugu, Imo, Edo, Abia, Lagos have topped the list of states where the tribunals have sacked the Labour Party lawmakers over reasons mostly bordering on party-related procedures for emergence.

Reacting to the hale of sackings by the tribunals, National Chairman of the party, Barrister Julius Abure, who described the trend as ‘suspicious,’ said most the of the tribunals’ decisions were based on the issue of membership, which, according to him, remains ‘an internal affair of the party beyond the jurisdiction of courts.’

“We are worried because the reasons for reversing our victories are matters that have been settled by the superior courts in the past.

“It is even incomprehensible and ludicrous when different tribunals give conflicting and diverse judgements on the same matter, a matter that has since been ruled by the Supreme Court and very recently at the Presidential Election Petition Court in APC v Peter Obi

“The courts have, in a plethora of cases, held that the court has no jurisdiction to intervene in the internal affairs of a political party.

“The issue of nomination of candidates as well as membership are internal affairs of the party beyond the jurisdiction of courts. Only a political party can determine who its members are and who their flag bearer for an election should be.

“The Labour Party Chairman described the judgements as reckless, saying the activities of the judges are suspicious.”

He, however, called on the Nigerian Judicial Council (NJC) to intervene in the matter by reviewing the activities of the legal practitioners.

“Though the tribunal is not the final court, we frown at the recklessness of our judicial officers in entering a judgement that looks suspicious.

“We are therefore calling the attention of the Nigeria Judicial Council to the injustice ongoing and to review the activities of some of our legal officers who may have been compromised and found wanting in the discharge of their duties.

“Labour Party must be encouraged to widen the political space and end the one party system being vigorously pursued by the ruling party. Pushing the party under a moving trailer will not in any way help anyone,” Abure added.

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