Apapa denies receiving N500m to destabilise Labour Party

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The factional National Chairman of the Labour Party, Mr Lamidi Apapa, has denied receiving N500 million from any quarters in order to scuttle the case of the party at the Presidential Election Petition Court, (PEPC).

Apapa has also asked the party’s presidential candidate in the Feb. 25 presidential election, Mr Peter Obi, to interfere objectively in the party’s leadership fight in order to resolve it.

Briefing newsmen after escaping being lynched by irate youths at the PEPC on Wednesday in Abuja, Apapa denied receiving any money or being influenced by anybody or a group to work against the party.

He said that Obi must be unbiased and objective in handling the crisis in order to resolve the leadership tussle.

Apapa decried what happened at the PEPC in the presence of Obi, describing it as disgraceful and a test of Obi’s leadership quality.

The factional chairman said that the leadership crisis would have been put behind them if the presidential candidate had respected an order of the FCT High Court.

The FCT High Court had ordered Julius Abure and three others from parading themselves as national officers of the party over their indictment for forgery and perjury.

Tracing the genesis of the crisis, Apapa said that immediately after the order of the court was served on the parties, he was unanimously selected to lead the party in an acting capacity.

He said that it was wrong for Obi to be according respect to Abure in spite of the order of the court and as a presidential candidate seeking justice from the same court of law.

He implored Obi to be open-minded and neutral in order to end the crisis.

In attendance at the briefing were the Deputy National Chairman of the Party in the North, Mr Mike Auta, the National Publicity Secretly Olufemi Arabambi and the Acting Women Leader Rukkayat Salihu.

There was a drama at the PEPC when two factions of Labour Party clashed over which faction had the right to be present in court.

The drama led to Apapa receiving some punches before he was whisked away by security personnel to safety.

The trial judge, Justice Haruna Tsammani, adjourned the case of the party until Friday.

When asked if he would be present at Friday’s sitting in spite of what happened in court on Wednesday, Apapa answered in the affirmative, adding that except he would be barred by security personnel.