Labour Party National Chairman, Abure, Arrested in Edo By Police, DSS

Labour Party National Chairman, Abure, Arrested in Edo By Police, DSS

•More forgery allegations trail him 

•Aspirant warns party against imposing candidate at Edo primary

Chuks Okocha in Abuja, Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

The crisis besetting the national leadership of the Labour Party (LP), climaxed yesterday as the National Chairman of the party, Julius Abure, arrested by a combined team of Police and the Department of State Service (DSS) in Benin City, Edo State.

Unfortunately for Abure, the accusation of forgeries against him continued, regardless, as three more members of the party came out to openly accuse him of forging their signatures during the 2023 general election.

This, nonetheless, a governorship aspirant of the party, Tom Iseghohi, yesterday, warned the party leadership against imposition of candidates, saying he would not accept any attempt to cheat or rig him out in the election.

However, at the premises of the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) office along Adesuwa road, GRA, Benin a crowd believed to be supporters and followers of Abure were also stopped at the gate of the premises while Abure and some top LP officials and members were allowed to go in with him.

It was gathered that his arrest was as a result of a petition forwarded to the Zone from the office of the Inspector General of Police, Abuja.

Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Zone Tijani Momoh, said, “There is a standing order for now that nobody should come in.

“Yes the Labour Party National Chairman is here and it has to do with a petition  that was referred to this office from the Inspector General of Police.

“It was referred to Zone 5 from the IG’s office. He is with us but I cannot give the contents of the petition right now.”

When asked if he was being detained or just to take his statement, Momoh said, “I don’t know for now.”

The Labour Party has also confirmed the arrest, saying it was because of a petition by one of its expelled member.

National Publicity Secretary of the party, Obiota Ifoh, who confirmed the development, also said the Labour Party chairman in Edo State, Kelly Ogbaloi, was also arrested.

The Labour Party, Tuesday, had a successful delegate election in Benin ahead of the Party Primaries scheduled to hold on Friday.

The party chairman, along with some governorship aspirants also kept a scheduled security briefing with the Department of the State Security.

Abure was however arrested after the meeting by a combined team of DSS and Police officers. Abure, Ogbaloi and their aides were manhandled in the process.

Ifoh said that Abure was taken to the office of police Zone 5 headquarters 

According to Ifoh, “A Police source informed the party officials and other governorship aspirants at the gate of the police headquarters that the arrest was in connection to a protest letter by one of the expelled member of the party loyal to Apapa dissident camp.

“The source also confirmed that the arrest was not unconnected to the ongoing party primary and the possible candidate that will emerge, which the state government is vehemently opposed to.

“He informed that the arrest was to frustrate the primary process and possibly interrupt the party’s participation in the governorship election,” Ifoh said.

He added that the “Deputy National Chairman of the Party, Dr. Ayo Olurunfemi in video post said no form of intimidation from the highest quarters can stop the party from concluding the process leading to the emergence of the Labour Party government in the state.”

The chairman of the Labour party has been facing series of allegations on forgery from various members.

He has also been having running battles with some members of the party in the state over allegations of substituting candidates in the 2023 general election without the consent of the affected aspirants, an allegation he had denied.

For instance, the governorship aspirant of the party in Ebonyi State, Eze Oko Spendour, the House of Representatives aspirant for Owheriwohn federal constituency in Edo State, Imasuen Morphey and Yojana Mangif, the Labour Party governorship aspirant in Plateau State, had accused Abure of forging their signatures and illegally replacing their names with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Addressing a press conference, Wednesday in Abuja, the three aspirants appealed to the Minister for Justice and Attorney General of Federation to prosecute Abure as he was a bad influence on  the spirit of democracy, transparency and fair hearing.

Meanwhile, a governorship hopeful of the party in Edo State, Tom Iseghohi, has warned against any attempt to cheat or rig him out in the election.

Speaking at an interactive session with journalists, he said his running for the governorship was a personal sacrifice he chose to make to help develop the state, adding that given its abundant natural resources, there was no reason for anybody in Edo State to be insecure.

“The reason I am running for the governor is that we have a great country that is being mismanaged. We have a great state with tremendous resources that have being misapplied as a result of that, five million people are suffering,.

“I am a homeboy. I speak my language very well. I’m grounded in Nigeria. I know how Nigeria works,” Iseghohi said, adding that, “if money is the issue in the election, no one will outspend me.”

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