Callistus Okafor, a former Deputy Chairman of the Labour Party (LP), has filed a request with the Supreme Court to declare him the legitimate chairperson of the party. In a conversation with journalists, Okafor claimed that both Julius Abure and Lamidi Apapa are “fake” chairmen.
Okafor argued that Apapa, the acting chair, cannot assume the position through illegitimate means, stating that his emergence would have been more acceptable if there had been no consent judgment. He further asserted that, based on the consent judgment, Abure’s chairmanship is unlawful.
According to Okafor, “I am the only acting national chairman of the Labour Party. Every other person claiming that position is fake. Lamidi Apapa and Abure are both impostors.” He revealed that he approached the Supreme Court on May 18 and requested a declaration of Abure’s chairmanship as illegal.
“I have brought to the court’s attention that the acting secretary of the LP, in accordance with the party’s constitution, cannot assume the position of Chairman. I have also requested the Supreme Court to nullify and deem ineffective any actions taken by Abure in his capacity as the LP chairman,” Okafor stated. “I specifically highlighted to the honorable justices of the Supreme Court that Abure conducted an illegal convention and primaries for the LP, which he had no legal authority to do.”
Okafor further requested the court to recognize the party’s membership list, as he possesses the verified list. The Labour Party, which emerged as a significant force leading up to the 2023 elections after Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra state, secured the presidential ticket, has been embroiled in leadership turmoil.
The crisis unfolded when Apapa, the deputy national chairman of the party (south), declared himself the acting national chairman following Abure’s removal by a court. In April, a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) high court issued an order restraining Abure from presenting himself as the LP’s national chairman.
The LP announced the suspension of Apapa and other party members, including Akingbade (national legal adviser), Gbenga Daramola (national financial secretary), Anselem Eragbe (national youth leader), and Abayomi Arabambi (national publicity secretary), over “anti-party activities.”
Despite the discord, party leaders, including Peter Obi, maintain that there is no crisis within the party and affirm that Abure remains the chairman.