Respite has come the way of the embattled national chairman of the Labour Party, LP, Julius Abure, who was in March this year indefinitely suspended by his Uromi Ward 3 constituency in Esan North East local government area of Edo State. An Edo State High Court presided over by Justice Emmanuel Okey Aihamoje on Friday quashed the purported suspension, holding that the executive of the ward lacked the power under the constitution of the Labour Party, particularly as it related to Articles 13 & 17, and the Electoral Act 2022 as amended, to remove the national chairman. Recall that on Friday March 31, at a press conference in Abuja, one Martins Osigbemhe, who claimed to be the LP ward 3 chairman, announced the suspension of Abure for alleged anti-party activities and forgery. Osigbemhe said Abure would remain suspended until the determination of the numerous petitions and cases against him in courts. However, Justice Aihamoje, in Suit No: HUC/21/2023 filed by Abure and some other executive members of the Ward, has nullified the purported suspension, and imposed a perpetual injunction against Lamidi Apapa and his faction from removing or suspending Abure as the National chairman until the national convention of the party is convened. The judge insisted that the Ward 3 executive who purportedly suspended the national chairman of the party acted outside the powers vested on it by the party’s constitution. Reacting to the judgement, the Ward 3 LP chairman, Thompson Ehiguese, told journalists at the court premises that the judgement had put an end to “impostors” who were masquerading as members of the LP in the ward. According to Ehiguese, “These charlatans, claiming to be members of our party, are from Edo North, and members of the APC (All Progressives Congress). I want to use this medium to congratulate the Labour Party and the OBIdient Movement that stood firmly with Comrade Julius Abure while the sponsored crisis in our great party lasted. The judgement is explicitly clear that Barrister Julius Abure remains the national chairman until the party’s convention holds next year. Nothing can change our collective resolve to reclaim the Nigerian masses’ mandate freely given to Mr. Peter Obi and the party in the last presidential election”. Counsel to the LP, President Aigbokhan, described the judgement as a landmark decision that would stand the test of time. He said “Any decision taken on the void notice of suspension falls effortlessly. The court, in its decision, emphasised that the role of ward executive in the Labour Party does not include the suspension of national officers of the party. Anybody who is relying on the suspension notice by the ward executive against the national chairman of the Labour Party is on his own. The judge said that he has nullified the notice, and he has restrained the National Working Committee from removing the National Chairman of the party pending the National Convention”. In a similar reaction, the Edo State chairman of the LP, Kelly Ogbaloi, said the party was vindicated and the “court has spoken through its erudite justice, Hon. Justice Emmanuel Okey Aihamoje, and it confirmed what we told the Nigerian public from the very beginning that Apapa and his cohorts are common tragic power seekers. The judgement is to the effect that those who pronounced the suspension of the national chairman in Abuja did not have the competence in law to do so because the position of the constitution of the party is that the national chairman can only be removed via a convention. So, if what they did in Abuja was not a convention, then it was totally null and void, and Apapa was further restrained from parading himself as Acting National Chairman.” As of the time of going to press, the Lamidi Apapa-led faction was yet to react to the judgement. The magazine however gathered that spokesman for the faction, Abayomi Arabambi, was planning to address a press conference to state their position.