Labour Party Crisis: Court okays factional leader’s fresh suit

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The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered that the Labour Party and some of its officials be served with a fresh suit pertaining to its leadership crisis through a substituted means.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, made the order on Monday, after hearing an ex parte application filed by a former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Calistus Okafor.

In the court order, the judge ordered that the defendants be served through the pasting of the court documents filed by the plaintiff at the Labour Party’s secretariat in Abuja within seven days.

Okafor, a factional leader of the party, is challenging the legality of the leadership of Akingbade Oyelakin, whom he alleged, “represents persons wrongfully and unlawfully parading themselves as members of the National Working Committee of Labour Party.”

He also joined the Independent National Electoral Commission as a co-defendant.

Others sued by Okafor included Julius Abure and Umar Farouq, who emerged as the national chairman and the secretary of the party, respectively, at a national executive committee meeting of the party held in Benin, Edo State, in March 2021.

The rest of the defendants sued by the defendants were members of the committee set up by the Nigeria Labour Congress to take over the affairs of the party.

The committee members are Salisu Mohammed, Lawson Osagie, Isa Aremu, Baba Aye, Ikpe Ektokudo, Sylvester Ejiofor, and Lucy Offiong. Sued along with them was one Salamatu Aliyu and the NLC.

The court in its order issued on Monday, had ordered a, “substituted service of the originating summons, interlocutory injunction, and all other processes in this suit on the 1st to 3rd, 6th to 12th and 14th defendants by pasting the said processes at their political party’s office, which is the 5th defendant’s office, located at No 2, Oke Agbe Street, Off Ladoke Akintoal Boulevard, Garki 11, Abuja.”

The 1st to 3rd defendants are Abure, Farouq and Oyelakin. The 6th to the 12th defendants are the members of the NLC committee and the 14th defendant is Aliyu.

The court ordered that the service must be effected “within seven days of this order.”

The judge then adjourned the case until June 30, 2022, “for further mention.”

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