The High Court of the FCT has assumed jurisdiction in the suit filed by Yomi Arabambi, the Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party (LP) loyal to the party’s suspended Deputy National Chairman, Lamidi Apapa, and seven others against the National Chairman, Julius Abure, and three others.
Justice Hamza Mu’azu stated this on Friday, while ruling on the preliminary objection filed by Abure and the National Secretary, Farouq Umar Ibrahim, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter.
The suit is based on the order restraining Abure and Ibrahim; National Organising Secretary, Oluchi Opara; and National Treasurer, Clement Ojukwu, from parading themselves as leaders of the Labour Party.
The order is pending the hearing of a suit seeking, among others, their sack over allegations of forged court documents, including receipts and the seal of the FCT High Court, which they were said to have used in the substitutions of LP’s candidates in the 2023 general elections.
At Friday’s hearing of the matter slated for ruling on preliminary objection on jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter, Justice Muazu Hamza, in a short ruling, held that the court had jurisdiction to hear the matter.
The judge said the plaintiffs were right to bring the matter by originating summons, adding that the matter is justifiable to be heard.
He then adjourned the case to May 17 for hearing on the substantive suit, saying Abure and three others remained suspended, pending the outcome of the suit.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Labour Party has expressed disappointment over the refusal of the FCT State High Court to decline jurisdiction in the matter brought before Justice Mu’azu by a group loyal to Apapa against some LP leaders, including Abure and three others.
In his ruling, the judge said that he would go ahead to hear the substantive matter. The matter has been adjourned to Friday, May 19 for further deliberation.
However, the party’s leaders said they were appealing the ruling immediately “because we know we will not get justice from the court”.
The LP leadership added that Abure remained the National Chairman of the party, pending the final determination of the matter.