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APC behind current attacks – LP *Plotting against our sure victory in November polls

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has been fingered as the main sponsor of every attempt including sponsored court cases, all aimed at destabilising the Labour Party (LP), moves that would all come to naught.

Umar Farouk, National Secretary, told reporters at the party’s National Secretariat, Abuja, on Friday that the LP was well aware of the desperate plot by the ruling party to cause confusion within its fold in a bid to scuttle its rising profile.

Stating that the latest move was to scuttle the chances in the forthcoming Governorship Election in Imo State, he said it was necessary to clear the air on the current development in the state, where yet another attempt by expelled party members who rebelled against the LP had gone ahead to misinform members of the public on its progress.

He said: “As you already know, the party surprised many Nigerians with the huge success it achieved during the last general election. The party became a household name, all to the envy of the older political parties. You also know how the ruling party, forced itself into power at the expense of the Labour Party and the entire Nigerians.

“We are still in the tribunal challenging both the process and outcome of the presidential election. In order to ensure a subjugation of the Labour Party, the ruling party has deployed all manner of strategies to stifle the party, part of which was to sponsor insurrection amongst some suspended former members of the party, Lamidi Apapa and a few others.

“Their assignment was to ensure that no progress is achieved in the party. The heavily-funded dissidents have tried to mislead the courts and some section of the media to harass the party leadership, but all have failed. Only recently, the Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City affirmed Julius Abure as the National Chairman of Labour Party (LP).

“Only yesterday, the Court of Appeal Owerri, which sat in Abuja, while giving judgement in the case brought before it by one Basil Maduka, one of the two aspirants that were deceived by the Apapa camp to participate in their illegal primaries also ordered that the status quo remains with Senator Athan Achonu as the validly nominated candidate of Labour Party for 2023 Imo governorship election. It noted that Basil Maduka has no locus to seek redress in the court as he is not known by the Labour Party.

“For emphasis, you may recall that Apapa group had hoodwinked and arranged governorship primaries for two members of the Labour Party, namely Chief Ukaegbu Ikechukwu and Sir Maduka, after which Ukaegbu won the contest.

“Maduka was piqued by the outcome of the fake primaries and had gone ahead to challenge the emergence of Ukaegbu. He sued both Ukaegbu and the Labour Party. Neither the authentic Labour Party led by Barrister Julius Abure nor its candidate Senator Athan Achonu was put on notice and were not aware of the situation.

“The case was decided on behalf of Ukaegbu against Maduka. The matter has nothing to do with the leadership of the party or the candidacy of Senator Achonu, a product of a properly conducted primaries by Abure-led NWC.

“With this judgement, the pro-Apapa choice, Chief Ukaegbu had gone to town declaring himself as the Labour Party candidate for the Imo governorship election. For emphasis, the court never pronounced him as the candidate of the Labour Party. No court has given judgement de-recognsing Barrister Abure as the National Chairman of the Labour Party up till today.

“Meanwhile, the Labour Party appealed the Bayelsa court ruling on the ground that it lacks the jurisdiction to entertain a suit filed by the Apapa camp without putting the leadership of the party which is known to law into notice. Senator Achonu who was also not a party to the suit filed by Sir Maduka but on hearing about the matter before the Federal High Court, sought to be joined as an interested party.

“However, the Court of Appeal re-emphasised the implication of lack of jurisdiction in a Motion for leave to appeal as an interested party and held that the Motion was filed out of time hence it lacked jurisdiction.

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Imo massacre: Armoured vehicles procured for police used to rig elections – LP

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Labour Party, palpably in anguish at the slaughter of eight soldiers in Imo State on Tuesday by some rampaging gunmen, has raised questions over the whereabouts of the nine Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) Athan Achonu, it claimed its governorship candidate for the November 11 election, repaired and donated to the authorities in the state.

The party, all but called out the leadership of the Imo State Police Command, to whom they claimed the equipment were handed over, alleging that the last time they APCs were seen was during the last general elections, where they were used by members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party in power in the state to snatch ballot boxes for candidates in the national and state assemblies.

The claim, was made when Nick Opara-Ndudu  and Nnaemeka Onyeka Obiareri , chieftains of the party appeared as guests on The Morning Show, a breakfast programme on Arise Television to sell the candidacy of Achonu, whom they said would never have allowed the type of insecurity in the state to endure under his watch.

Both men, who said that Achonu, whose highest political office so far, was his short stint in the Senate, where he served via the 2015 election before he was removed through the courts, remained the only solution not to the insecurity, in the state and even the South East,  but the one to rescue the people from years of underdevelopment from poor leadership.

Obiareri, spokesman of the LP in the state, argued that if the APCs had been in place, Tuesday’s incident in which the military men were killed alongside some policemen and officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), would probably not have happened, said a check on the social media would reveal how they were used by party men of the APC for rigging the 2023 general elections.

He said: “The military men that were killed if they had armoured vehicles patrolling, they wouldn’t have been shot by those criminals. Athan Achonu, go and confirm from Innoson, paid hundreds of millions of naira to Innoson, Innoson is still alive, you people can still go and interview him, to repair nine armoured vehicles for the police. Five were supposed to be in Okigwe zone. Till today, we don’t know where those nine armoured cars are.

“If you go to Youtube, you’ll see Youtube record of members of the House of Assembly in Imo State using those APCs to carry ballot boxes. It’s there on Youtube, you can search it out. What Athan Achonu will do is very simple. Every local government area will have one humvy vehicle for the police. Police stations had been totally burnt in Imo State and Athan repaired most of those police stations.

“Then, there will be community vigilante. We’ll train those 50 youths per community – train them, equip them and arm them. They should guard their communities. When you have over 50,000 hectres of land, reclaimed from the bandits, and you have youths who are not only just farming, but who are trained to protect their communities, they’ll do the job.

“Then, we have to set up a security trust fund. Ndi-Imo are not scared. As at today, there are some communities in Imo State, where bandits – unknown gunmen, are ransacking and collecting levies from the communities. Basically, Athan Achonu will provide training, recruitment for people donated by the communities. Communities know those who are the terrible ones in their midst. And I tell you, in six months, they will flush them out.”

Opara-Ndudu, who dismissed the claim by the state governor, Hope Uzodimma that the carnage and other killings in the state were politically-motivated, blamed the governor for misplacing his priorities and failing to provide jobs for the teeming youth population in the state, questioning why nobody had been arrested and prosecuted fully in the courts if the insecurity in the state was all about politics.

Hear him: “The security problem has to do with objective conditions in the state. The young people are frustrated. The government is not making any investments in the areas that are required. We’re busy pursuing projects that are designs in deception. Look at the roads that are being done in Imo State, you know for you to deal with the problem of poverty and other economic challenges, you have to deal with the problem of infrastructure.

“In Imo State, the government has dedicated all of its time and half of its time to reconstructing federal roads without any attention – little or no attention paid to the rural areas. If you go to length and breadth of Imo State – Ngor Okpala, Ezinifte Mbaise, even in the governor’s local government – everywhere in Imo State, you find that the rural areas are looking desolate and abandoned.”

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Police find body of missing female student dumped in the bush, vow to get killers

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Operatives of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), command, have vowed to fish out the killers of a university student, Blessing Karami, whose body was said to have been picked up from the bush days after she was declared missing on September 11.

The FCT police, which released the painful news on Thursday, said in a statement by its spokesman, Josephine Adeh that the remains were found in the woods in the Karimu area of the city.

The police spokesman acknowledged that her disappearance was reported to the police authorities last,  Thursday, September 14 added that 26-year-old Blessing, a student of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), was declared missing after leaving her place of work in Garki, Abuja.

She said in the statement: “The body of Blessing Karami Moses, a 26-year-old woman who had been missing since September 11, 2023, was tragically discovered in a wooded area in Karimo. Her disappearance was reported to the authorities on September 14, 2023,” the statement read.

She said Commissioner of Police, FCT, Haruna Garba, had directed that command should conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident, adding: “While we are working closely with the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) to facilitate the respectful retrieval of the decomposed remains acknowledging the sensitive nature of this task, we will continue to provide updates to the public as our investigation progresses.”

Adeh, a Superintendent of Police (SP), also commiserated with Blessing’s family and loved ones over the incident.

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Ogun cult massacre: DSS raid home, pick up PDP lawmaker, five others

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Damilare Bello Mohammed, a serving member of the Ogun State House of Assembly (OGHA), is currently telling operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) his side of the story, after he was picked up over his alleged involvement in the rival secret cult clashes that occurred in Sagamu town.

Mohammed, recently elected on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to represent Sagamu State Constituency 1, was picked up on Wednesday by the agency over the incident in which at least eight persons were killed last weekend during the violent clash in the town, alongside five other suspected cultists allegedly involved in the cult violence.

The five other suspects; Debbo Animashaun, Bamidele Saheed, Ismaila Onitire, Adewale Otesanya and Tobi Owoade, were arrested by the DSS operatives during a sting operation after a tip-off at the early hours of Thursday within the residence of the lawmaker.

Lekan Adeniran, spokesman to Dapo Abiodun, the Ogun State governor, announced the development in a statement on Wednesday, saying the secret police tracked the six suspected cultists to the official residence of the lawmaker.

Accusing the lawmaker of providing shelter to the cultists, Adeniran, said in the statement, that the suspects were presently undergoing interrogation in DSS custody after many dangerous weapons, including guns, were recovered from them.

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