Labour Party Condemns Unjust Removal of its Lawmakers by Tribunals.
- LP calls the attention of the Nigeria Judicial Council to the ongoing injustice and to review the activities of some of our legal officers.
Abuja, Nigeria, September 13, 2023 – The Labour Party (LP) has voiced its strong concern over recent judgments delivered by national and state assembly tribunals, which have led to the removal of some of its elected members.
Barrister Julius Abure, the national chairman of the LP, issued a statement expressing dismay that the party’s political gains, which had broken the dominance of the two major political parties in Nigeria, were now being reversed by what the LP considers unjust decisions coming from various tribunals.
In the statement, Abure highlighted that some of the reasons cited for overturning the party’s victories had already been settled by superior courts in the past.
He expressed the party’s frustration over the situation, particularly when different tribunals were delivering conflicting judgments on the same matters, despite previous rulings by the Supreme Court and the Presidential Election Petition Court.
Abure’s statement read, “The Labour Party is amazed at the spate of judgments being churned out at the various National and State Assembly tribunals where several of our elected members at the National Assembly have been sacked by the tribunals.”
“At the last general election, the Labour Party took Nigerians by surprise by rewriting the political narratives and ending the dominance of the two major political parties in Nigeria. The LP became a household name with over 10 million members and supporters across the nation. However, this feat is regrettably being reversed by the pronouncements coming out from the various tribunals.”
“We are worried because the reasons for reversing our victories are matters that have been settled by the superior courts in the past. It is even incomprehensible and ludicrous when different tribunals give conflicting and diverse judgments on the same matter, a matter that has since been ruled by the Supreme Court and very recently at the Presidential Election Petition Court in APC v Peter Obi.”
“The courts have in a plethora of cases held that the court has no jurisdiction to intervene in the internal affairs of a political party. The issue of nomination of candidates as well as membership are internal affairs of the party beyond the jurisdiction of courts. It is only a political party that can determine who its members are and who their flag bearer for an election should be.”
Abure continued, “The decisions of the tribunal against our elected lawmakers are clearly in contravention of established jurisprudence. Where the leadership of a party regards a person as a member of the party eligible to contest the primaries, no member of the party can complain against such a decision. Such an issue is within the domestic and internal affairs of the party over which the courts have no jurisdiction as such is not justiciable.”
“It is therefore a mockery of our judicial system for lower courts to upturn a judgment already delivered by the Supreme Court. Though the tribunal is not the final court, we frown at the recklessness of our judicial officers in entering a judgment that looks suspicious.”
“We are, therefore, calling the attention of the Nigeria Judicial Council to the ongoing injustice and to review the activities of some of our legal officers who may have been compromised and found wanting in the discharge of their duties.”
Abure concluded by emphasizing the LP’s commitment to widening the political space and ending the one-party system, calling on the authorities to ensure that the party’s efforts are not undermined by unjust decisions.