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Edo: LP sacks excos, inaugurates caretaker committee

The crisis rocking the Edo State chapter of the Labour Party ahead of the September 21, 2024, governorship election remains unabated as the Julius Abure-led national leadership of the party sacked the state executive led by Kelly Ogbaloi.

DAILY POST reports that the national leadership then appointed Elizabeth Ativie, the former Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, as the head of a 17-man caretaker committee.

The deputy national chairman of the party, Dr Ayo Olorunfemi, inaugurated the committee on Monday in a hotel in Benin City.

Olorunfemi, also named Ken Omusi, the suspended state youth leader of the party, who had earlier in the month purportedly sacked the state executives and appointed himself the acting chairman, a member of the committee.

While inaugurating the committee, Olorunfemi said the new leadership of the party in the state came on board due to the expiration of the tenure of the Ogbaloi-led executive council, which ended in April 2024.

He said the caretaker committee is expected to take charge of the affairs of the party until a fresh congress is conducted to elect a new executive.

He said Mrs Elizabeth Ativie was appointed as chairman of the committee due to her positive and result-oriented track records so far in all her political positions.

He called for unity in the party and assured that the party would be more united in Edo State with the Ativie-led committee.

In her acceptance remarks, the acting chairman of the party, Mrs Elizabeth Ativie, who commended the national leadership of the party for finding her worthy of the position, promised to move the party to a higher level in the state.

Ativie, who also promised to reconcile all aggrieved members of the party, added that a reconciliation team would be set up to resolve all pending issues.

When contacted, the embattled Kelly Ogbaloi, the sacked chairman of the party, said his executives are not aware of any changes in leadership in the state.

According to him: “We are not aware that the Edo State Labour Party executive has been dissolved because there is a process to all of these. No one man can just wake up one day and remove a structure that has been in existence.

“The National Working Committee of the party, led then by Julius Abure, reached an agreement that there would be no congress in Edo State until after the governorship election slated for September 21, 2024.

“It was agreed that the exco should be allowed to prosecute the state election, after which Congress can follow.”

Recall that last Friday, the Kelly Ogbaloi-led state executive suspended Julius Abure as the national chairman of the party.

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Politics

Court dismisses APC’s appeal, upholds Diri’s election as Bayelsa Governor

The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal on Thursday affirmed the decision of the Bayelsa Governorship Election Tribunal, which had upheld the November 11, 2023, re-election of Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State.

A 3-man panel of the appellate court in a unanimous judgment dismissed an appeal seeking to set aside and dismiss the decision of the Tribunal.

Recall that the Justice Adekunle Adeleye-led three-member tribunal had on May 27, dismissed as lacking in merit, the petition filed against Governor Diri’s re-election by the APC and its candidate.

The tribunal held that the petitioners failed to adduce any credible evidence to substantiate any of the allegations they raised against the outcome of the governorship poll.

The instant appeal was filed by the All Progressives Congress, and its governorship candidate, Timipre Sylva.

The panel held that the appeal was incompetent and constituted an abuse of the court process, lacking in merit and consequently liable for dismissal.

The panel explained that there was no cogent proof founded on law to quash the earlier judgement of the Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.

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Many injured as gunmen attack Shaibu, Okpebholo’s convoy in Benin

Three policemen are feared dead following a clash with suspected political thugs on Thursday in Benin City.

It was gathered that the clash occurred in the afternoon, shortly after Edo State APC governorship candidate, Senator Monday Okpebholo and the reinstated Deputy Governor, Phillip Shaibu, left Benin Airport on arrival from Abuja.

While some sources said three policemen sustained gunshot injuries, others said three policemen lost their lives during the clash.

When contacted for confirmation, the Public Relations Officer of the Edo State Police Command, Chidi Nwabuzor, who said they also heard it as a rumour, said it would be premature for the Command to make any statement on it without investigation.

It was learnt that no sooner had the Okpebholo and Shaibu left the airport than unknown gunmen, in a Sienna vehicle parked at the exit gate of the airport, shot at their convoy.( Daily post)

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Court stops suit seeking to void Akpata as Edo LP candidate

Nigerian govt should stop paying lip service to education strikes —NBA

Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court Abuja has dismissed a suit seeking to void the nomination of Olumide Akpata as the candidate of the Labour Party in the September 21 governorship election in Edo State.

In a judgement, Justice Omotosho upheld the arguments by Akpata’s lawyer, Johnson Usman, (SAN) that the plaintiffs were without the legal right to institute the suit.

The suit was filed by Anderson Asemota, Monday Mawah, a deputy governorship candidate, and Lamidi Apapa, listed as acting national chairman of the Labour Party.

Listed as defendants were the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Olumide Akpata and the Labour Party.

Justice Omotosho held that the plaintiffs lacked the locus standi to have approached the court on the issue because they did not participate in the February 23, 2024 primary of the party from which Akpata emerged as the party’s candidate.

The judge also found that the issue was about the nomination of a candidate, which forms part of the internal affairs of a political party.

He held that it is the party that determines who its candidate is, and proceeded to hold that the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the suit.

The judge further held that even if the court was to assume jurisdiction, the suit itself lacked merit.

Justice Omotosho noted that contrary to the plaintiffs’ arguments, the Court of Appeal nullified the orders made by a high court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) including the order restraining Julius Abure-led leadership of the party.

The judge said, “This means that the third plaintiff (Apapa) and those who were in acting capacity with him immediately had all their decisions nullified and non-existent.

“Thus, any letter written by the said acting executives, or any decisions including the purported consensus primary election which produced the 1st plaintiff (Asemota) are all non-existent, void and of no effect whatsoever.

“It is a trite principle of law that you cannot put something on nothing and expect same to stand.

“The entire foundation upon which the plaintiffs claim rests has been thoroughly demolished by the decision of the Court of Appeal.

“The argument that the decision of the high court of the FCT was valid as at when the primary election was conducted may be true to some extent especially if the Court of Appeal had yet to hand down its judgment.

“The judgment, however, destroys this argument and ensures that the first plaintiff for all intents and purposes cannot be deemed to be a candidate who emerged from a valid primary election.

“Thus the 1st plaintiff cannot claim that his name should be accepted by the ist defendant as candidate of the 3rd defendant for the governorship elections in Edo state in 2024,” Justice Omotosho said.

The plaintiffs had prayed the court to among others, order INEC to publish Asemota’s name as the winner of the Edo Labour Party Governorship Primary Election, having emerged as the consensus candidate and winner of the February 22 primary conducted by the primary election committee set up by the party’s national working committee (NWC) under Apapa’s leadership.

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