May 25, 2024

LP crisis takes new twist as Edo chapter suspends Abure



 …accuse him of anti-party activities 

…it’s an exercise in futility – Abure 

By John Alechenu, Abuja 

The National Chairman of the Labour Party (LP), Barrister Julius Abure, has been suspended by party executives in Ward 3 Arue-Uromi, in Esan North-East Local Government Area of Edo State, for alleged high-handedness and anti-party activities.

This decision was ratified by the State Executive Committee of the party after the ward wrote a formal letter to the SEC. 

Abure’s suspension was a sequel to a meeting of members of the ward where allegations of his “high-handedness and anti-party activities in the administration of the party and other acts of financial impropriety were exhaustively discussed. 

The ward executives in the letter of suspension addressed to Abure noted that “allegations of fraud levelled against you, which are (currently) under investigation.”

A letter of suspension dated May 14, 2024, and another letter of ratification dated May 15, 2024, both of which were ratified at a meeting of the state executive committee on Friday (May 24, 2024) night in Benin, read in part, “While the suspension is with immediate effect, you are advised to restrain from holding out or parading yourself a member of Labour Party, Ward 3, Arue, Uromi in Ean North-East LGA, Edo State.”

The letter of suspension was signed by the Ward Chairman, Thompson Ehiguese, and Ward Secretary, Stanley Usiomoh.

The letter of ratification of his suspension was forwarded to the State Executive Committee of the party through the State Chairman by the Local Government Chairman of the party in Esan North-East, Patrick Onogbeni, and LGA Secretary, Ehikioya Eromosele.

The second letter read in part: “Here forwarded to you and for your consideration is the ratification of the suspension of Comrade Barrister Julius Abure from the membership of Ward 3, Arue, Uromi, Ean North East LGA, Edo State.

“The LGA Executive met today, 15th of May, 2024 about noon, to consider the matters presented on the suspension and accordingly found them weighty, and the suspension ratified and upheld.”

The State Executive Committee endorsed the decisions of the Ward and Local Government Committee of the party at a well-attended meeting in Benin late on Friday.

It was gathered that the venue of the meeting was charged as leaders and members of the party chanted: “Abure must go!”  

The State Executive Committee considered the letters, together with the issues contained therein, and ratified Abure’s suspension.

With the ratification of his suspension, the basis of his chairmanship of the party at the national level has been vitiated, and by implication, he stands suspended as the party’s national chairman.

In response, Abure, while speaking through the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, said the action of the Edo State Chapter was an exercise in futility because it lacks basis in law as enshrined in the LP constitution. 

Ifoh said, “The 2019 Labour Party constitution, Article 17 subsection 1, is clear that only the National Convention convened solely for the purpose of removal of the National Chairman with a two-third majority can suspend or remove the chairman. The ward, LG, or even the state have no power to suspend the National Chairman. 

“An Edo High Court has also ruled on this matter. Also, an Appeal Court has also ruled on this matter.

“This dimension is a continuation of the attack on the person of Abure as witnessed during the governorship primaries. It will also amount to nothing, and we are not perturbed.”