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Heavy protest erupts in Benin as Abure, LP state chairman arrested by Police, DSS, 2 days to party guber primaries

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Heavy crowd of protesters on Wednesday besieged the Zone 5 headquarters of the Police Command in Benin City over the arrest of the National Chairman of the Labour Party, Barrister Julius Abure.

Also arrested was the state chairman of the party, Kelly Ogbaloi.

The Labour Party on Tuesday had a very successful delegate election in Benin ahead of the Party Primaries scheduled to hold on Friday. The party chairman only this morning along with party governorship aspirants also kept a scheduled security briefing with the Department of the State Security.

Abure was however arrested after the meeting by a combined team of DSS and Police officers. Abure, Ogbaloi and their aides were also manhandled.

Effort by some party leaders to have access to the Zone 5 headquarters was turned down due to the huge crowd of party supporters who were expressing their displeasure over the arrest of Abure.

However, a Police source informed the party officials and other governorship aspirants at the gate of the police headquarters that the arrest was in connection to a protest letter by one of the expelled member of the party loyal to Apapa dissident camp.

The source also confirmed that the arrest was not unconnected to the ongoing party primary and the possible candidate that will emerge which the state government is vehemently opposed to.

He informed that the arrest was to frustrate the primary process and possibly interrupt the party’s participation in the governorship election.

The Deputy National Chairman of the Party, Dr. Ayo Olurunfemi in video post said that no form of intimidation from the highest quarters can stop the party from concluding the process leading to the emergence of the Labour Party government in the state.

SIGN
Obiora Ifoh
National Publicity Secretary
Labour Party

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Labour Party sacks Edo excos, inaugurates caretaker committee

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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.

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.”

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

Meanwhile, a letter signed by Julius Abure said the new executives of the party are expected to work in conjunction with the party’s governorship candidate, Olumide Akapata, towards ensuring victory at the governorship election.

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Imo guber: Gov Uzodinma reacts as tribunal upholds his election

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Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, has reacted to the judgement of the State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which validated his election for a second term in office.

The tribunal, in a unanimous judgement delivered by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay’s three-man panel, held that Uzodimma’s election as the state governor complied with the provisions of the Electoral Act.

The tribunal thereby dismissed the petition filed by the Labour Party and its governorship candidate, Athan Achonu.

Reacting at the weekend in an interview with newsmen in Owerri, the Imo State capital, Governor Uzodinma said the judgment is not just a personal victory but a resounding triumph for all Imolites, reaffirming the trust and confidence they have placed in his leadership.

He assured that the mandate entrusted to him will translate into meaningful development and prosperity for the people, adding that the present administration in Imo State will continue to build on progress and promote growth, unity, and a brighter future for all.

He thanked Ndi Imo for their unwavering support and belief in the government’s shared vision.

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Edo Excos Have No Power To Suspend Abure, Says LP

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Hours after the suspension of Julius Abure as the Labour Party’s National Chairman, the party said the executives in Edo State lack the power to carry out such action.

LP in a statement by its spokesman, Obiora Ifoh, on Saturday described the purported suspension of Abure by the the ward executive of Ward 3, Arue, Utomi, Esan North East of Edo as fake.

“The ward, LG or even the state have no powers under the constitution to suspend the National Chairman,” the statement read.

“In the Labour Party’s constitution, Article 17 subsection 1 (2019) is emphatic that only the National Convention convened solely for the purpose of removal or suspension of the National Chairman with two third majority can suspend or remove him.

“Court of Appeal, Benin Division on the 14 day of August , 2023 under the Presiding Justice Theresa Ngolika Orji-Abadua in a case brought before it by Lucky Shaibu and others against Julius Abure and others corroborated with the judgement of the lower court in their ruling that the National Chairman of the Labour Party cannot be suspended or removed by the Ward executive.”

Ifoh, the LP’s National Publicity Secretary, said the party’s national leadership is investigating the letter emanating from Edo on Abure’s suspension.

He said the party won’t hesitate to discipline any member found guity of flouting the Labour Party’s rules.

“The leadership of the party is however investigating the source of the purported letter of suspension and will summarily act by the party rules in disciplining any officer of the party found guilty of contravening the rules of the party,” he stated.

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