A Federal High Court in Abuja has approved the request by the Callistus Okafor-led faction of the Labour Party to serve a restraining order against the Julius Abure-led faction by substituted means.
This followed an application by the Okafor faction to the court reminding it that the Abure faction has been avoiding service of the restraining order on it.
The Labour Party has been enmeshed in a leadership tussle following the passage, in 2021, of its National Chairman, Abdulkadir Abdulsalam.
Symfoninews had earlier reported that upon the death of the National Chairman his deputy, Chief Callistus Okafor, was constitutionally empowered to take over the leadership of the party pending the election of a new national chairman.
However, it was gathered that National Secretary of the Party, Joseph Abure allegedly hijacked the leadership leading to a legal battle.
However, the Abure faction has, in the exercise of the powers of the National Chairman, sold the party’s presidential nomination forms to Peter Obi and also cleared him to contest the 2023 presidential election on its platform.
Chief Callistus Okafor had warned that Mr Obi was trading with the wrong faction as his purported ticket to fly the party’s flag at the election was not recognised by the authentic leadership of the party.
In making the order for substituted service, Justice Inyang Ekwo reaffirmed an earlier decision of the court restraining Abure and others from parading themselves as leaders of the Labour Party until the substantive suit was determined.
Defendants in the suit include Abure, Umar Farouk and Akingbade Oyalekin “for themselves and as representing persons wrongfully and unlawfully parading themselves as of the National Working Committee of the Labour Party”.
Making the order, Justice Ekwo said all processes in the suit, including the interlocutory injunction restraining Abure and the others from. parading themselves and national leaders of the party, be pasted at the office of Labour Party at Ladoke Akintola Boulevard, Garki, Abuja.
Adjourning further action on the suit to June 30, Justice Ekwo said the substituted service must be executed within seven days.
With the development, Obi’s hope of being on the ballot as the presidential candidate of the party, as well as efforts by members of the Abure faction to establish their presence in the states, may be an exercise in futility.