The Labour Party, LP, has warned members of the public to be wary of the activities of those it described as ‘political and judicial’ pranksters.
The warning is coming on the heels of a purported judgment by an Imo State Court, claiming that the LP governorship candidate in the Imo State election in November, Sen. Athan Achonu, had been ordered replaced.
The LP blamed Lamidi Apapa and his loyalists for the “mischievous misinformation”.
The report had it that the Imo State court had replaced Achonu with Joseph Ikechukwu Ukaegbu, who emerged at the parallel primary election conducted by the Apapa led group.
However, accusing the group of spreading falsehood, the Julius Abure-led party said the purported Imo State court judgment is the same judgment that was surreptitiously obtained from Bayelsa State under the same judge, which was also widely circulated.
It explained that the case, which commenced in Imo State terminated in the Bayelsa court because the judge, Justice Quadri, who was handling it took it along with him to Bayelsa where he was transferred and did not even mention in his ruling that Achonu, who never had anything to do with the case, and was neither joined in it and was never a part of the judicial process, be replaced.
The LP described purveyors of the information as pranksters for presenting one case as if there are two different judgments to deceive the gullible public.
Throwing more light on the matter, the party in another statement, argued that Justice E O Quadri (formerly of the Federal High Court, Owerri Division, now of the same Judge at the High Court in Yenagoa Division, Bayelsa State, dismissed the case brought by one Basil Maduka against Joseph Ukaegbu for lack of jurisdiction.
“The judgment did not give any order to INEC or any other institution; affect the candidacy of Senator Athan Achonu; mention Senator Athan Achonu as he was not even a party in the matter; affirm Ukaegbu as the candidate or change any status quo already existing before the judgment.
“In law when a court says it has no jurisdiction and dismisses a matter as this one has been, it means the matter is dead in the water.” The party urged the general public to ignore the distractions and falsehood and continue their support for Senator Athan Achonu and the Labour Party.
A statement signed by the Acting National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, in Abuja, read in part: “The leadership of the Labour Party read with utter dismay the judgment entered against our candidate in the November governorship election in Imo State, Distinguished Sen. Athan Achonu.”
He likened the judgment to what transpired in Kano State where they procured a judgment against the LP and the Abia State then governor-elect, Alex Otti, adding that the group has not relented on their evil mission hence the purported judgment.
Ifoh restated unequivocally that Achonu remained the Labour Party candidate in the fast-approaching gubernatorial poll in Imo and urged the electorate to ignore irresponsible comments from interlopers.
According to the Director General of Senator Athan Achonu Campaign Organisation, Engr. Chime Nzeribe: “We are not distracted by the noise from paid agents whose stock in trade is to retain the out-going government in Imo by dividing Senator Achonu’s votes.
“Imolites are wiser now and such cannot happen.”
The Labour Party also dismissed a statement by one Frank Nwaete, threatening Achonu with jail term if he campaigns, as a desperate and fruitless adventure by losers who keep inventing different storylines.
It pointed out that Hamza Muazu of the Federal High Court, Abuja had in May lifted the suspension of Julius Abure, on which premise he based his claim.