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Police Arrest Labour Party Chairman | Citizen NewsNG

ByCitizen NewsNG

Feb 21, 2024

 

By Abbas Jimoh

 

The police have arrested the embattled National Chairman of Labour Party, Barrister Julius Abure.

While the details of his arrest were sketchy as the time of this report, two of the national working committee (NWC) members confirmed the development to Daily Trust in Abuja.

The two, who pleaded not to be named due to the sensitivity of the development, said they learnt he was picked up in Benin, Edo State, on Wednesday.

However, the national publicity secretary of the party, Mr Obiora Ifoh, was not available for comment as his phone no was not available at the time of this report.

Abure was reportedly arrested on allegations of premeditated attempted murder, among other alleged infractions.

The arrest followed a petition by a former LP Youth Leader, Comrade Eragbe Anselm Aphimia, who was expelled in the wake of crisis which rocked the party in 2023.

The petition, addressed to the Commissioner of Police, Edo State Command, dated February 13, partly reads, “I, Comrade Eragbe Anselm, write to you with utmost urgency and grave concern regarding a heinous act of violence perpetrated against me on the 29th of December 2023.

“I am a member and National Youth Leader of the Labour Party (LP) in Nigeria, and the events I am about to recount are of utmost importance for justice and the safety of individuals involved in political activities.

“On December 28, 2023, I flew into Benin City Airport around 2 p.m. as part of an official 5-member delegation authorised by the Acting National Chairman of the Labour Party, Alhaji Lamidi Basiru Apapa.

“Our mission was to organise Ward, LGA, and State Congresses in Edo State, as well as supervise the sale of nomination forms for various posts, as mandated by INEC guidelines, within the stipulated time frames.
“On arrival at the Benin Airport, I was received by one Mrs Mary Okheime Newberry, who falsely claimed to be providing transportation and accommodation on behalf of unnamed “stakeholders.”

“She proceeded to lodge us at the Smart Homes Hotel, unknown to us that she was plotting a sinister and gruesome ambush. The next morning, a man named Austin Emeka came to pick me and my colleague, Mr Patrick Anethua, up from the hotel lobby, pretending to take us to a meeting venue. Instead, we were violently attacked just outside the hotel gates by a waiting mob.”

A report of similar arrest in June 2023, later turned out to be untrue, despite a petition by unnamed aggrieved members of the party.

Daily Trust reports that the development is coming on the heels of the suspended embattled national treasurer of the party, Mrs Oluchi Oparah, who accused Abure of mismanaging the funds belonging to the party and asked him to account for the alleged missing N3.5bn realized from the sales of nomination forms for the 2023 general elections.

While Abure denied the allegations, saying the party also made N1.3bn, the NWC of the party, however slammed a six-month suspension on Oparah, for false allegation and failure to appear before a committee to address her allegations and grievances.

This was also followed by the Presidential candidate and National Leader of the party, Mr Peter Obi, asking for an investigation of the party’s finances and records by a reputable audit firm.

Also, on Tuesday, the 36 state chairmen and FCT of the party during a meeting in Abuja rejected the financial fraud allegations against Abure.

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