Video credit: Premium Times
THERE was drama on Wednesday at the Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja following a clash between factional leaders of the Labour Party following the opening of the courtroom by court officials for the day’s proceedings.
The confrontation began when Lamidi Apapa, factional national chairman of the Labour Party, confronted Akin Osuntokun and other party stalwarts who had taken their seats in the gallery in the courtroom, demanding that they vacate the seats for them to occupy.
Premium Times reports that Apapa’s demand was on the basis of his claim that he was the legitimate leader of the Labour Party who should take the seat, while Osuntokun refused to surrender the seat, insisting that Apapa had no right to take the seat.
According to the report, it took the intervention of Josephine Ekperobe, secretary to the Presidential Election Petition Court, to calm down the tense situation between the party stalwarts.
Julius Abure, who had been suspended as national chairman of the Labour Party by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja which further restrained him from parading himself as the national chairman of the party, arrived at the court shortly after the altercation was brought under control.
It would be recalled that the internal squabble in the party became intense since the declaration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as president-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission following the February 25 presidential election.
The party’s Acting National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, had in April called on all election petition tribunals to disregard letters by its suspended National Legal Adviser, Samuel Akingbade, withdrawing all the party’s petitions.
It was not clear if Wednesday’s proceedings might proceed because of further confrontations by the party leaders in terms of who represents the party at the court, although the party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, was in court for Wednesday’s proceedings.